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Although the importance of the monks of Cluny in the 
social, political and religious life of the tenth and eleventh 
centuries has been universally acknowledged, there has been 
no book in English dealing with the history of the monastery 
Furthermore, in general histories, English, French, German 
and Italian, two misconceptions on the subject of Cluny had 
grown up: (1) that the Cluniacs were highly ascetic and 
uncompromising members of the Benedictine order; (2) that 
the Gregorian tenets originated at Cluny,^ and were pro- 
mulgated by the Cluniacs who thus prepared the way for 
Gregory VII. From that standpoint the present writer 
began her work on Cluny, but on going to the original 
sources could find no evidence in support of either theory — 
a conclusion she put forward in an article published in the 
English Historical Review. 

The theory that Gregory VII. was a monk at Cluny is no 
longer tenable ; while Martens in his remarkable book on 
Gregory VII. maintains that the theocratic doctrine originated 
with Hildebrand himself, and was developed, not by the 
monks, but by a small group of ecclesiastics within the 
secular Church. The fallacy of the first theory was exposed 
by Sackur in his Cliiniacenser in ihrer kirchlichen und 
allgemeingeschiichtlicheii Wirksamkeit. Sackur, however, is in- 
terested in tracing the work of the monastic groups which 
emanated from or were influenced by Cluny, rather than in 
the history of the monastery itself It therefore seemed to 


the present writer that there was room for original work on 
the subject ; for that work the storehouse of facts is the 
Recueil des chartes de Cluny published in Bruel's five volumes, 
which, as far as she knows, have not hitherto been worked 
over in detail. 

As grantee, scholar and fellow, she wishes to acknowledge 
her indebtedness to the Carnegie Trust for the Universities 
of Scotland, and to express her thanks to Miss Duffy and 
the Rev. J. Richards for having read the proofs of this book. 

L. M. S. 


Original Authorities 

Adalberonis Carmen. 
Annales Benedict!, iii. 
Baluze, ii. 
Benedict! Chron. 
Benedicti Regula. 

BolL AA.SS. April II., May II., Sept. III. 
Bouquet, ix., x. 

Bruel. Recueil des chartes de Cluny, i.-iv. 
Destr. Farf. 
Flodoardi chron., iii. 
Gall. Christ, ii. 
Gesta abb. Gemblac. 
Gesta episc. Tull. 
Havet. Lettres de Gerbert. 
Joannis XIX. papae epist. 
Labb^. Concilia, viii., ix. 
Mabillon. Ann., v. 
Mabillon. AA.SS., v. 
Mabillon. Vetera Analecta, ii. 
Mansl Concilia, xix. 
Marrier. Bibl. Clun. 

Migne. Pat. Lat, 103, 132, 133, 139, 141, 142, 159. 
Miracula sci Mansneti. 
Miracula sci Benedicti, 
Miracula sci Gorgon iL 
Mon. Germ. Script. Pertz, vii., viii., xiii. 
Mon. Germ. Hist. Sickel, i., ii. 
Udalricus Consuet. Clun. 

Vita anonynia Odonis, Bibl. Nat. Paris, 5566. 
Vita Halinaixii. B GL ^v 

Vita Joh. Gorz. 1 I f^ 7 

vii ^ - r- 



Modern Authorities 

Butler. Benedictine Moiiachism. 

Dresdner. Kultur und Sittengeschichte der ital. Geistliclikeit. 
Grutzmacher. Die Bedeatimg Benedict von Nnrsia und seiner Kegel. 
Grandidier. Histoire d'Alsace. 

Huberti. Studien zur Rechtsgeschichte der Gottesfrieden. 
KlucivHOLM. Geschichte der Gottesfrieden. 
Lavisse. Histoire de France, ii. 2. 
Neiies Archiv, vii., xv. 
Pignot. Histoire de Cluni. 

Pfister. Etudes sur le regne de Robert le Pieux. 

Sackur. Die Cluniacenser in ihrer kirchlichen und allgemeingeschlicht- 
lichen Wirksamkeit. 



I. Introduction — Early AVestern Moxasticism . . 1 

11. Origins of Cluny — Berno, first Abbot . . 9 

TIL Odo, second Abbot of Cluny — Early Life — Customs 

AT the Monastery of Baume — Building of Cluny 1 7 

IV. Fleury . . . . . . . 39 

v.. Papal and Royal Charters granted to Cluny — Gifts 

TO Cluny . . . . . .47 

VL Odo's reforming Activity — Reform in Upper Lorraine 56 

VI I. Odu's last Years and Death — His Writings . 68 

VIII. Odo's Character . . . . .78 

IX. Aymardus, third Abbot of Cluny — His Blindness and 

Death — Gifts to Cluny . . . .88 

X. Maiolus, fourth Abbot of Cluny — Early Life — Rela- 
TroNs with the Saxon Emperors — Refusal of the 
Papal Chair — Maiolus and Fleury — Death . 100 

XI. Maiolus' reforming Activity — Gifts to Cluny . 114 

XII. Maiolus' Character — Miracles . . .130 

XIII. Odilo, fii-th Abbot of Cluny — Early Likk — Relations 
with Popes and Emperors — Royal Charters to 
Cluny . . . .143 

XIV. Attack on Ci.uny by feudal Lords — Strife wuh the 

Episcopate — Satire of Adalbero of Kheims . 155 




XV. Cluny and the Peace Movement — Pax Dei and Treuga 

Dei — All Soulh' Day . . . .170 

XVI. Increase of Cluniac Influence — Cluniacs in Spain — 

Gifts to Cluny . . . . .185 

XVII. Odilo's Death — Character and Miracles . . 199 

INDEX . . . . . . . .221 



More than a thousand years ago, on the site of duke William 
of Aquitaine's hunting-lodge, the little monastery of Cluny was 
founded, an event that seemed of such small importance that the 
founder hesitated to turn out his hunting dogs in order to make 
room for the monks. Yet in less than two hundred years the name 
of that small monastery had become famous throughout Europe, 
and Cluny head of an international system ; where onee the 
monks had built their wooden houses ' according to their skill 
and knowledge ' arose a new and famous school of architecture ; 
where once the modest building had been retarded through 
lack of funds, rose the church of St. Peter, the admiration 
and wonder of the world ; where once the dogs had barked, 
echoed the stately ritual of the most famous musical centre of 
Europe ; and on the site of the former hunting-lodge rose a 
monastery so extensive in size, that St. Louis of France and his 
courtiers could stay there without one of the monks having to 
leave his cell. Cluny, once a tiny vill, hidden in the black valley, 
had by then become an international meeting-place better known 
than Paris itself. 

But all these things had been added unto her. Cluny's 
chief work, a work which made her known as the spiritual head 
of Europe and her monks renowned as the savers of souls, lay 
in the reform she inaugurated, the spiritual enthusiasm she 
reawakened in monastic life, and the establishment of one 
uniform and universal rule in the monasteries of the West. 
This was no mean achievement, for society had been overturned 
by the invasions of the barbarians, and the monasteries, defence- 

1 B 


less and rich, had been one of the chief objects of attack. There 
were monasteries to be rebuilt, restored, refounded, and, above 
all, to be brought under one rule. 

It is very fitting that the pied-d-terre of the Cluniac abbots 
at Paris should have been built next the ruins of the thermae 
and palace of the Roman Emperors, for Cluny stood for the con- 
tinuance of the old Roman tradition in the regular church, as 
against the Teutonic element. The Roman monastery had been 
a community possessing certain rights. The monasteries built 
or organised under Teutonic influence were rather the appanages 
or possessions of the founder and his relatives, the Roman idea 
being too abstract for the ignorant feudal baron to grasp. To 
the latter the monastery was another form of property which 
might be inherited, given away, split up, and divided according 
to the founder's wish, monasteries being held by seven or eight 
owners much in the same way as a fief. It followed from this 
that the right of electing an abbot was often claimed by the 
founder, and delegated by him to his descendants and relatives. 
St. Benedict, on the contrary, had laid down that freedom of 
election belonged to the monks. In consequence of the feudal- 
ising tendency the monk regarded his abbot somewhat in the 
light of a feudal chief. The vows he made on entering the 
monastery he made in the presence of the abbot, on whose death 
he felt himself free to leave the house. ^ Having dedicated his 
life voluntarily, the monk of the Teutonic school still felt that he 
remained an individual, with a right to his individual will and 
judgement. This was against the Roman principle strenuously 
upheld by the Cluniacs, i.e. the monk once a monk was a monk 
for life and one of a permanent community. His will had 
passed into his abbot's keeping. 

In the Teutonised system, no one rule was accepted as the 
standard for the Empire. The founder could exercise his indi- 
vidual preference among the many rules, i.e. from the more 

^ It was quite usual for a monk to pass from one house to another. 
St. Benedict put an end to this by introducing the vow of stabiHty. 


ascetic Eastern to the more moderate Western.^ Nor when a 
rule was once adopted were its tenets rigorously adhered to, 
again a consequence of Teutonic individualism. To the free 
Teutonic spirit, to the rough feudal lord, who at the end of a 
life of hard fighting founded or retired to a monastery, the 
monotony of regular discipline, however moderate, must have, 
proved very irksome, and voluntarily to follow that discipline 
an idea almost beyond his comprehension. Hence abuses crept 
in, such as are mentioned in the Vita Odonis, e.g. change in the 
hour of matins that the night's rest should not be broken, richer 
and warmer clothing, ^ occasional changes from fish and vege- 
tarian diet, holiday visits to friend and family, no fixed rules 
as regards fasting — the zealot being allowed to fast more, the 
indifferent less. All these points, which sometimes seem to be 
given an exaggerated importance in the Vita, yet fall into their 
places as the outward and visible signs of that larger significance, 
i.e. the maintenance of the Roman ideals of discipline and uni- 
formity, as against the Teutonic ideal of individualism. This' 
was the more important in that the monasteries were coming 
under the influence, not of the finer elements of the age, but of 
the reactionary tendencies of the feudal baron. 

Before the Teutonic spirit could attain the old Roman ideal 
a long training was required. The Roman spirit stood for dis- 
cipline, for the recognition of abstract rights, for the community. 
This was the training Cluny was to give, and the work Cluny 
was to do, i.e. to bring back to monasticism the ideals of 
discipline, uniformity, and obedience, a work successfully 
inaugurated by the greatest of her abbots. ' After Benedict 
and his disciple Maurus may come as the chief restorer of the 
monastic order in Gaul, and a distinguished reformer of the 

1 The best -known were those of Antony, Pachomius, Basil, Macarius, 
Aiirelian, Cassian, Bonatus, Cacsarius of Aries, rolunibanus, all of which 
were more severe than the Benedictine. 

- St. Benedict allowed his monks eight hours' sleep on end for the greater 
part of the year, but they had to rise at 2 a.m. for matins. He also allowed 
for the climate and permitted warmer clothing than the Egyptian rules. 


rule, Odo ; Odo, tlie first father of the order of Cluny who took 
up the task of renewing the dead and almost forgotten fervour 
of monastic life.' ^ 

The rule which the Cluniacs followed was the Benedictine,^ 
and one result of their work was to establish it throughout the 
West. It was eminently suited for their reform, in that it was 
not rigid and that it held up a standard of life attainable by 
the many. Unfortunately, little or nothing is known of the 
early history of this rule which had not been able to compete 
with older and better-known rules, and before the seventh century 
had received little or no recognition outside Italy.^ In the South 
of Europe the rule of Caesarius of Aries had been generally 
adopted, in the North that of Columbanus of Luxeuil. Before 
the Benedictine could triumph, it required influential supporters. 
When Gregory the Great sent Augustine to England, he entrusted 
him with a letter addressed to the clergy of Gaul, advocating 
the adoption of the Benedictine rule. Little more is known 
about the rule till we find Charlemagne attempting to revive 
it in pursuance of the reform begun by Boniface and Pippin. 
He sent to Monte Cassino to have the rule copied and brought 
to Aachen. Not that the monastic movement per se owed much 
to Charlemagne, for his object in supporting it was educative 
rather than religious. He valued monasticism mainly for the 
opportunities it afforded for study, and the monasteries as a 
training ground for scholars whom later he might employ at his 
court, and in carrying on the administration of his empire.* 

^ Marrier, Bibl. Clun. p. 58, Veniat post magnum Benedictum et eius dis- 
cipulum Mauriim, summus ordinis monastici in Galliis reparator, precipuus 
regulae reformator, Odo. Odo, inquam, primus Cluniacensis ordinis pater qui 
emortuum iam et pene ihique sepultum monastici propositi fervor em resuscitare 
suo conamine aggressus est (Peter the Venerable's address to the priors and 
subpriors of Cluny, c. 1140). 

2 Sci Benedicti Regida, 116, Constituenda est erga nobis dominici schola servitii 
In qua institutione nihil asperum, nihil grave nos conslituturos speramus. 

^ Grutzmacher, Die Bedeutung Benedict von Nursia u seiner Kegel. 

* Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, ii. p. 573. Charlemagne did not 
allow the rule to be followed in at least one point, viz. free election of the 
abbots by the monks: only four monasteries in Germany, Lorsch, Fulda, 
Hersfeld, St. Gumbert, were granted this privilege. 


There was thus a wide field of work for the first purely 
monastic reformer who should arise, and he came in the second 
Benedict, Benedict of Aniane. He, however, began his career 
as an opponent of the Benedictine rule which he spurned, 
despising it as fit only for novices and weaklings. ^ ' He himself 
afflicted his body with the most rigorous fasts, and for so long 
left it unwashed that he resembled a beast rather than a man.' 
To his first religious fervour the Eastern rules alone seemed to 
reach a fitting height of asceticism, and he despised the Bene- 
dictine rule just because it held up a standard of life possible 
to the many. In time he learned to value it for this very reason, 
and to take it as his standard of reform. 

Benedict had taken his vows at St. Sequanus', Dijon, where 
he remained for five years, till the brothers wished to make him 
abbot. Foreseeing the impossibility of turning the laxity of 
his fellow-monks to the strict observance of the rule, he fled to 
his boyhood's home. There, near the little river Aniane, he 
built on his father's land a cell, nucleus of the monastery later to 
become so famous, where, surrounded by a few friends, he strove 
to enforce a regime in which religious contemplation and hard 
work were the ideals. That interest in reading and literary 
work which Charlemagne and Alcuin had fostered, was dis- 
couraged. Special importance was laid on manual labour, the 
monks themselves having to till any land they acquired. Extreme 
simplicity and even bareness characterised the architecture of 
church and monastery, the consecrated vessels being made 
of wood, and beauty avoided as a sin. The observance of the 
rule was so strict that only the strong could endure. Never- 
theless the numbers grew, and three times Benedict found it 
necessary to extend the monastic buildings. The third time 
the severe simplicity of the earlier buildings w^as abandoned, 
and the monastery, which arose in pomp and splendour, was 
placed under the imperial protection. 

Benedict instituted singers, taught readers, assembled gram- 

^ The first St. Benedict himself called the rule minima inchoationis regula. 


niarians skilled in the knowledge of the Scriptures, and collected 
a great number of books. Giving his heart to the investigation 
of the Benedictine rule, he went round the monasteries, ques- 
tioning the learned on those points in which he was ignorant, 
and studying all the other rules he could find. By 813 his ren- 
dering of the rule was followed in the most important of the 
Burgundian monasteries. In Aquitaine Louis the Pious placed 
the monasteries under his direction, and these he visited and 
reformed with great activity.^ 

On Charlemagne's death the reform received new impetus 
from Louis the Pious, an ardent supporter of the movement. 
His first care was to call Benedict to the centre of the empire to 
Maurmiinster, in Alsace. Later, that he might have him nearer 
his own person, he summoned him to Aachen, where two hours' 
journey from his palace the new and splendid monastery of 
St. Cornelius arose. This was to be the model monastery for 
the kingdom, though only numbering thirty monks. 

With the imperial support Benedict's work prospered. 
Appointed by the emperor over the monasteries of the kingdom,^ 
he (as the Cluniacs later) laid down the principle that uniformity 
of custom was to be strictly observed in the reformed houses,^ 
differences which had hitherto been allowed to exist being 
ruthlessly suppressed. 

In 816 a council of prelates was held at Aachen, when it was 
decreed that all monks should follow the Benedictine rule. A 
few months later (817) Louis summoned the abbots from all 
parts of the empire, and Benedict sat with them for several days, 

^ Hauck, ibid. Two of the points on which Benedict laid especial stress 
were zealously promulgated later by the Cluniacs : (1) the monk was to speak 
no superfluous word ; (2) he was to bear himself with extreme humility before 
his abbot ; at the name of God he was to throw himself prostrate on the ground, 
at the name of his abbot to bow the knee. Hoping to sever connection with), y y 
the world, Benedict forbade his monks the use of their mother tongue. J 

2 Migne, Pat. Lat. 103, Vita Benedicti Anianensis, cap. 50, Prefecit eum 
imperator cunctis in regno suo cenobiis. 

^ Ibid. 50, Et una cunctis generaliter posita observatur Regula, cunctaque 
monasteria ita ad formam unitatis redacta sunt. . . . Uniformis mensura in 
potu, in cibOf in vigiliis, in modulaiionibus cunctis observanda est tradita. 


' discussing the first principles of the rule, elucidating obscure 
and doubtful points, abolishing previous errors, and confirming 
useful and effective customs '.^ As a result the Aachen capi- 
tulary was drawn up, accepted by the abbots, and ratified by 
the emperor. The capitulary, which may be called a modified 
version * of the Benedictine rule, was to be the standard of 
monastic life within the empire. Inspectores were appointed 
by the emperor to see that it was enforced. Free election of 
their abbots was assured to the monks. Taken as a whole, 
the characteristic of the Aachen resolution was the reaction 
against what Charlemagne had made of monasticism, and a 
return to the earlier ideal, i.e. asceticism before culture.^ 

The rule was not rigid. Benedict continued to seek out and 
question those skilled in its precepts, and in especial those who 
had been at Monte Cassino. Various considerations led him 
to admit or reject certain points, and where the rule was silent 
or obscure he supplemented it fitly and rationally.^ He then 
wrote the Codex Regular U7n, a collection of all the rules prior 
to St. Benedict's. Working over it he next wrote the Concordia 
Regularum, a commentary on St. Benedict's rule, written to 
show the contentious ' that the first Benedict had not tampered 
with the rules of his predecessors but had relied on them '.* 

^ Ibid. 50, Regulam ab integro discutiens cunctis obscura dilucidans, dnbia 
2mtefecit, priscos errores abslulit, utiles consneludines affectusque confirmavit . . . 
assentientibus cunctis . . . capitularem institutum. 

^ Hauck, ii. 582 et seq. Each monk was to make himself acquainted witli 
every word of the rule. In order to make it suitable for the climate of Gaul 
and Germany the monks were to wear thicker and warmer clothing and to have 
more food, which of course the first Benedict had permitted. Manual labour, 
which had been rejected in many monasteries, was reintroduced. There was 
no mention of theological studies, and the monks were forbidden to keep schools 
except for the oblati. 

^ Migne, ibid. 51, Nonnulla praecipit quae aut propter concordiam unitalis 
aut certe propter observantiam honestatis, seu propter coyisiderationem fragilitatis 
admittuntur. . . . Si qua nempe minus lucide pagina Regidae pandit, aut omnino 
silet, rationabiliter apteque instil u it atque suppleiit. 

* Ibid. 53, Fecit denique librum ex regulis diversorum patrum collectum 
ita ut prior B. Benedicti Regula cunctis esset . . . quem ad collectam matutinam 
legere iussit. Ex quo rursus ut ostenderet contentiosis nulla frivola cassaque a 
Benedicto edita fore, sed suam ex aliorum fultam esse Regulam ; alium collectis 


With a^ enthusiastic reformer and a prince ready and 
anxious to support him, the work of reform went on apace. 
In his last years Benedict was unweariedly active in visiting 
and reforming the monasteries of the kingdom. On his death- 
bed he could rejoice at the extent of the work accomplished. 
The monks of St. Cornelius praised him as the man who had 
given back the Benedictine rule to Gaul. Nevertheless Benedict 
was perhaps too narrow in his outlook to carry through a 
universal reform. Laying over-much stress on single points, 
he did not see deep enough into essentials.^ That he succeeded 
as far as he did was largely due to the imperial support without 
which the movement would have collapsed after his death (821). 
By 829 Louis had again to call the bishops' attention to the 
reform, and exhort them to further it. 

His zeal, however, like that of the many, waxed faint. 
Later it was the bishops who had to remind him that the monks 
had been confirmed in the right of free election of their abbots. 
More and more the monasteries fell into lay hands, abuses crept 
in, and ' by the end of Louis' reign there was as little strict 
observance of the rule as there had been at the beginning '.^ 
Then in Gaul came fresh incursions by the Northmen and Huns 
which prevented the development of peaceful monastic life. 
By the end of the ninth century only in isolated and rare com- 
munities did the observance of the Benedictine rule survive. 
It was in one of these, the little monastery of Baume, that the 
founder of Cluny's greatness received his training. 

Regnlarum, sententiis composuit librum . . . cui nomen concordia Regularum . . . 
dedit ita duntaxat ut B. Benedicti praecederet sententia, eo vero rationabiliter con- 
venientes lunger entur. Hugo Menardus, who edited the Concordia (16.38), gives 
a list of 26 rules from which it was composed. 

^ Hauck, ibid. iii. 591. 

' Ibid. 



In the life of St. Hugh of Autun ^ there is a story ^ which links 
the origin of Climy to the mother of Western monasticism, 
Monte Cassino. In the sixth century certain distinguished men 
of Gaul, moved by God and the love of holy religion, sent 
messengers to St. Benedict begging him ^ to send monks from 
Monte Cassino to Gaul as instructors in the regular discipline. 
Benedict sent twelve monks, one of whom was his best beloved 
Maurus. They came to Anjou, where they founded the monastery 
of Glanfeuil, over which Maurus was made abbot. Under his 
direction the monastery prospered exceedingly. Its numbers 
increased, till an incursion by the Northmen forced the monks 
to flee farther south, where they settled at St. Savin's, Poitiers, 
and again by their zeal caused monastic life to flourish. St. 
Savin's became a model monastery which the kings of Gaul 
delighted to favour. Inspired by their example a certain 
Badillo was moved to emulation, and resolved to restore the 
ruined abbey of St. Martin, Autun. Having done so, he sent 
to St. Savin's and persuaded eighteen of the monks to settle in 
his new monastery, Hugh, who later became abbot, being amongst 
their number. Under Hugh's fostering care fruit a hundredfold 
was brought forth. From far and near men flocked to take their 
vows at St. Martin's. At this time monastic life was almost 
dead in Gaul, and the state of the few monasteries which had 

1 AA.SS. Boll., Apr. II. cap.i . 3. 

2 Rodulf Glaber (eleventh century) gives the same story. That St. ]\raur 
ever came to Gaul has been disputed. 

' Vita Hugonis: Ut monachile institutum quod pene in illis j^cirtibus anmd- 
latiim deperierat aliquatenvs reforwnre saiagerent. 



survived amidst the ruin and desolation caused by the incursions 
of the Northmen, a scandal. Of all the monasteries of Gaul 
that of Baume was the most lacking in regularity of life. The 
monks of St. Martin were asked to reform it, and sent thither 
Berno, who later became its abbot. With his name comes the 
connection of Baume with Cluny. Not only did Berno restore 
regularity of discipline at Baume, but also with his co-operation ^ 
duke William of Aquitaine founded the monastery of Cluny, 
over which Berno was appointed abbot. Thus the chain runs 
from Monte Cassino to Glanfeuil, from Glanfeuil to St. Savin's, 
Poitiers, from St. Savin's to St. Martin's, Autun, from St. Martin's 
to Baume, and hence to Cluny. 

This information about Berno conflicts with that given in 
the anonymous life of Odo.^ There we are told that Berno, 
scion of a distinguished and wealthy Burgundian house, despised 
the luxuries of this world, preferring to follow the precept of the 
Gospel and to lay up his treasure in heaven. Therefore, helped 
by his relative Laufinus,^ he built the monastery of Gigny on 
his own land, and dowered it with no small riches. Monks 
settled there, and after a time Berno could rejoice that his 
prayers had been heard. The monastery stood forth an example 
of all that was best in monastic life. He endowed it with all 
his possessions, and himself took vows. 

Later, when perfected in the rule, he, at the request of the 
monks and nobles of the district, became abbot. So prudently 
and well did he rule that his fame spread. He was asked to 
take over and reform Baume, a monastery said to have been 
founded by Columbanus himself, but which had lost both religious 
and temporal prosperity. Under Berno, its former reputation 
for holiness was restored. 

These two accounts are contradictory, though they agree 

1 Bruel, Recueil des chartes de Cluny, i. 285, Quod Wilhelmus quoddam 
monasterium Cluniacum per manus Bernonis construxit. Cf. 253, 269. 

2 Discovered by Sackur, Bibl. Nat. Paris, 5566, fol. 21. 

^ Gigny . . . a te tuoque consobrino nomine Laufino (Migne, 129, p. 845, 
Formosi papae privilegia). 


in the most important particular, that the reform of Baume 
was undertaken by Berno. The first account makes the reform 
emanate from St. Martin's, Autun, from which monastery the 
monk Berno was sent to reform Baume ; the second makes it 
emanate from Gigny, which was founded by Berno when still 
a layman. The evidence of later charters rather supports the 
second authority, for they show that Baume was dependent on 
Gigny. Also certain principles upheld at Gigny were later 
adopted at Baume and Cluny. Berno, when he proceeded to 
Rome (894) to have the charter of Gigny confirmed, placed the 
monastery under the protection of the papal see.^ Its liberties 
were assured. The monks were free to choose their abbot,^ and 
were not to pay tenths (conditions which obtained both at Baume 
and Cluny later). 

Unfortunately very little is known of the history of Gigny, 
which Berno seems to have left after taking over the direction 
of Baume. From the latter monastery he evidently exercised 
his authority over Gigny. At Baume his connection w^ith duke 
William of Aquitaine arose ; for William's retainers often 
visited the little monastery of Baume, and ever brought back 
to their lord reports of the abbot's excellent rule and adminis- 
tration. William, who had decided to found a monastery, felt 
he could not do better than consult Berno on the subject. He 
asked the latter about a site, but to his dismay the abbot fixed 
on Cluny, the favourite hunting-ground of the Duke, nay on the 
hunting-lodge itself. 

' Impossible,' William replied, ' I cannot have my dogs 
removed.' Jocularly the abbot answered, ' Drive out the dogs, 

^ Ibid., Ideo suggessistis nostro apostolatiii ut aj)ostolici nostri privUegii illnd 
sanctione muniremus . . . confirmamvs, munimus el in perpetuum sub hire et 
dilione atque potestate B. Petri et nostra confirmatum stabilimus. . . . Ut yiulli 
homini quaynlibet dignitatem fiilcito licitum sit, aid etiam de ipsis donatoribus 
quamcunque vim aut aliquam oppressionem ibidem inferre . . . potius firmum 
et ab omnibus immutilatum citstodiatur ad ius et prolectionem beati Petri. 

2 Ibid., Congregatio . . . ex seipsis secundum Deum et regulam beati Benedicti 
quem idoneum praeviderint concordi vote habent semper eligendi et secundum 
morem in abbatem sibi praejiciendi. 


and put monks in their place, for thou canst well think what 
reward God will give thee for dogs, and what for monks.' ^ 

Struck by these words William ordered the building to begin. 

Apart from this legend, the origins of Cluny ^ remain in 
obscurity. In the three original sources, William's deed of 
gift, Berno's will, and the Vita Anonyma, no precise information 
is given about the founding of the abbey. 

. The Vita account, which is evidently based on Berno's will, 
runs as follows. When the success of Berno's reform at Baume 
was known, the religious and powerful men of the day, not only 
those living in the neighbourhood but even those from distant 
parts, being grieved that monastic life had almost perished in 
Gaul, resolved to place other monasteries under his direction. 
The famous duke William of Aquitaine gave him the two 
distant monasteries of Deols and Massay, where he instructed 
the monks in the regular discipline. Next William gave him 
property at Cluny where a monastery was to be built, a work 
which Berno at once began with as much zeal as goodwill. 
In a short time the walls of the church arose, a habitation for 
the monks was planned, and no small pains taken for the whole 
work. But alas, before even the walls of the monastery rose 
above ground, it was bereft of its master, nay rather of its parent, 
by the death of the duke, and left a posthumous child. As 
William died in 918, and the charter of foundation was drawn up 
in 910, the building could not have proceeded with any great 

^ Vita Hugonis, cap. ii. 13. 

2 Both the royal charters (anno 927) mention Berno as having built the 
monastery. (1) Quod Wilhelmus quoddam monaster ium Cluniacum per manus 
Bernonis construxit. (2) Quod a Wilhelmo per manus Bernonis constructum est. 
The vill Cluny was given to the bishop of Macon in 802. He gave it and another 
vill to the count of Macon in exchange for 3 vills (Bruel, i. 4, 6). From the 
count it passed to Ava, sister of William of Aquitaine. She willed it to her 
brother (893) in exchange for an alod which she was to hold for life. The charter 
of gift (Bruel, 53) describes Cluny as a vill with churches, chapels, manors, vine- 
yards, meadows, pasture-land, plantations of trees, cultivated and unculti- 
vated land, waters and water- courses. All was given to William except twenty 
serfs. If William had a legitimate son or daughter Cluny was to descend to 


rapidity. Even at the date of Berno's will (c. 926) the monastery 
was not completed. 

AVilliam's charter ^ dealt only with the deed of gift, and with 
his intentions regarding the monastery. Freely he gave to the 
apostles Peter and Paul the vill Cluny, with cortile, manor in 
demesne, and chapel, dedicated to the Virgin and St. Peter. 
Everything belonging to Cluny went with the gift — vills, chapels, 
vineyards, fields, meadows, woods, waters, mills, serfs, cultivated 
and uncultivated lands. On the site chosen the monks themselves 
were to build the monastery according to their skill and know- 
ledge. ^ There unceasing vows and prayers were to be offered up, 
so that with deep ardour and quick desire men might find the 
charm of intercourse with heaven. The Benedictine rule was to 
be followed. Berno was to be first abbot. On his death the 
monks were freely to elect their new abbot,^ neither William nor 
any other person daring to interfere with the election. They 
were to pay Rome a tribute of ten solidi every five years, and to 
have the papal protection and guardianship.* 

According as the possessions and opportunities of the 
monastery allowed, hospitality was to be given daily to the poor, 
needy, strangers, and pilgrims, and the monastery to serve as a 
perpetual refuge to those who, leaving the world stripped of its 
goods, and bringing nothing with them but their goodwill, 
might find in its superfluity their abundance. Notwithstanding 
this clause we know that Cluny was not richly endowed. It 
was ' poor in possessions \^ and endowed with but fifteen 
coloniae.^ Lack of funds brought the building to a standstill, 

1 Bruel, i. 112. 

2 Ibid., Pro posse et nosse sua, corde et animo pleno locum edijicent. 

^ Ibid., Haheant idem monachi potestatem et licentiam quemcumque sui 
ordinis eligere, nialuerint abbatem atque rectorem, ita ut nee nostra nee alicuius 
potestatis contradictione contra religiosam electionem impediantur. 

"* Ibid., Habeantque tnitionem ipsoritin apostoloriun atque Romani pontificis 

» Bibl. Chin. p. 9 (Berno's will). 

^ Migne, 142 ; R, Glaber, Hist. iii. cap. 5, Quod etiam cenobium in prima 
nan amplius quam quindecim terrae colonias dicitur in dotem accepisse 


a difficulty only overcome by the second abbot's enterprise, 
backed by the generosity of his friends in Aquitaine.^ 

The most important clause of the charter, in the light of 
Cluny's later history, is that which assured its freedom. The 
monks were subject neither to William, his relations, royal 
officials, nor any earthly yoke. No secular prince, count, bishop, 
nor even the pope himself, was to seize their property,^ divide it, 
diminish it, nor give it to benefit another : nor were they to set 
an abbot over the monks against their will.^ William called on 
the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and on the pope, to be guardians 
and protectors^ of Cluny, and by canonical and apostolic authority 
to drive from the community of the church, and from eternal 
life, those who attacked or seized the property which with joyful 
mind and ready will he had given them. A tremendous curse 
was called down on any one who violated the charter.^ Thus 
from its origin Cluny stood for monastic autonomy. 

Berno's will gives little additional information. Berno 
administered six monasteries — Gigny, Baume, the abbey of 
Aethicens with the cella of St. Lautenus, Deols, Massay, and Cluny. 

1 Migne, 133 ; Vita Odonis, ii, cap. 2. 

^ Bruel, i. 112, Ut ah hac die nee nostro nee parentnm nostrorum, nee fastibus 
regie magnitudinis, nee cuiuslibet terren^ potestatis iugo subiciantur idem monachi 
ibi congregati ; neque aliquis principium seeularium . . . non eoynes quisquam nee 
episcopus quilibet, non pontifex invadat. . . . 

^ Ibid., Non aliquem prelatum super eos contra eorum voluntatem constituat. 

* Ibid., Tutor es ac defensor es. 

^ Ibid., Primum quidem iram Dei omnipotentis incurrat, auferatque Dens 
partem illius de terra viventium et deleat nomen eius de libro vitae, fiatque pars 
illius cum his qui dixerunt Dno Deo Recede a nobis, et cum Dathan et Abiron, 
quos terra ore aperto deglutivit et vivos infer nis absorbuit, perhennem dampna- 
tionem incurrat : sortius quoque Judae proditoris Domini effectus, aeternis 
cruciatibus retrusus teneatur : et ne ei in presenti seculo humanis oculis impune 
transire videatur, in corpore quidem propria future damnationis tormenta 
experiatur, sortitus duplicem direptionem cum Haeliodoro et Antiocho, quorum 
alter acris verberibus coercitus vix semivivus evasit : alter vero, nutu superno 
perculsus, putrescentibus membris et scafentibus vermibus miserrime interiit : 
ceterisque sacrilegis qui aerarium domus Dni temerare presumpserunt particeps 
existat, habeatque archiclavum, totius monarchiae ecclesiarum iuncto sibi sco 
PaulOf obstitorem et ameni paradisi auditus contradictor em. The final clause, 
that such sinners shall be compelled by the judicial power to pay a fine of 
100 pounds gold, comes as an anticlimax. 


Feeling death near, with the consent of the brothers, he apj)ointed 
Wido, one of his monks, and his relative, abbot of the first three, 
and Odo, equally beloved, of the second.^ Some of Gigny's 
property was given to Cluny, viz. the vill Alfracta, part of a 
meadow belonging to a certain Simon, and a fourth of the 
caldariae.'^ In return, the monks of Cluny were to pay Gigny 
twelve denarii annually in investiture. Berno begged the 
princes, seniores, and magnates who at the monastery had 
heard his will read by word of mouth to consent to monasteries, 
abbots, and monks remaining in that state sanctioned by royal 
decree, and indeed by apostolic privilege. If, as was not improb- 
able, strife should arise from within or from without, he begged 
them to uphold justice and abide by the tenor of his will. 
There was no injustice in his gift to Cluny, which, left a posthum- 
ous child ^ by duke William's death and now by his, was still 
unfinished. Dedicated like Gigny to the apostles Peter and 
Paul, it was only fitting that the new son should receive a share 
of the patrimony. Besides, though Cluny was poorer in posses- 
sions it was greater in numbers,'* — a surprising statement — ; it 
may be, however, that the monks who were to build the monastery 
themselves were living at Cluny in temporary huts. Hoping 
for concord Berno exhorted them to observe uniformity in 
the manner of life (modus conversationis) at the six monasteries, 
if not better at least as well as they had done hithertofore, i.e. 
as regards ritual, observance of silence, food and drink, and 
above all the giving up of private possessions.^ If any brother 
continued pertinaciously in error, the priores of the monasteries 
were mutually to decide how to correct him. 

1 Bibl. Clun. p. 9, Uiiidonem meum consanguinem atque Odonem edaeque 
dihctiim una cum fratrum consensu mihi succedere delegavi. The last mention 
of Berno's name as abbot is in a charter dated 926, and the first mention of 
Odo's in a charter, 927. 

^ Caldaria, large vessel in which water was carried to the fire (Ducange). 

^ Ibid., Quasi postumus, morte . . . Ouellelnii . . . atque nunc mea 
imperfectus deseritur. 

* Ibid., Et eerie pauperior est possessione et numerosa Jraterniiate. 

^ Ibid., Unanimitas . . . in psalmodia . . . et insuper in contemptu rerum 
propriarunif si non melius saliem sicut hue usque fecistis. 


After Berno's death concord did not long continue. Wido, 
though a signatory to the will, took by violence the property 
Berno had left to Cluny. This came to the ears of the pope 
(John X.), who wrote to Rudolf, king of the Franks, ordering the 
property to be restored (928). Wido argued that Berno's decree 
was illegal in that he had named no period of time nor persons 
in connection with the gift. The papal decision was that the 
monks of Cluny were to hold the land as long as any of those 
who had taken vows at Gigny lived at Cluny .^ He commended 
the abbot and monks of Cluny to the king and his fideles who 
were able to further the abbey's interest. Wido, therefore, 
gave up what he had taken — Alfracta, an alod, and half a 
meadow, which were never to be alienated from Cluny unless, 
a somewhat malicious ending, the monastery and its inhabitants 
ever returned to canonical or secular life. 

From our three authorities all that we know about the 
origin of the monastery comes to this. The charter of foundation 
was drawn up in 910. Forthwith the work of building began, 
but proceeded so slowly that at William's death only the church 
was finished. The work was then probably left over, so that 
by Berno's death little more had been accomplished. This 
delay in building was due to lack of funds. It was only under 
Odo that the building was zealously undertaken, and through 
the generosity of his friends in Aquitaine completed.^ This, 
while putting forward the date of the monastery, renders more 
intelligible the fact that the royal charter was not obtained till 
927, the papal 931. 

^ Bouquet, ix. 217, Quod Berno hoc legaliter non fecit pro eo quod terminum 
temporis ac personarum in illo suo testamento non posuit. Quandiu ex illis 
monachis qui in Ginniaco professionem fecerunt aut oblati sunt apud Cluniacmn 
aliquis vixerit. The pope wrote directly to the king to explain the circumstances. 

^ Bruel, i. 425 (anno 935 ?). As their common father Berno had dedicated 
both monasteries to St. Peter, had begged the monks to continue in fraternity 
and love, and was buried at Cluny, Wido and his domni frntres freely gave up 
what he had willed. In return they were to receive annually in vestitura wax 
to the value of twelve denarii. 



Though Berno ^ held the title of abbot of the yet unfinished 
monastery of Cluny, its real history first began with Odo, the 
second abbot. He it was who laid the foundation of Cluny's 
future greatness and shaped the course of her later history. 
Fortunately we are better informed about the circumstances of 
his life than about the lives of his successors, for Odo had as his 
biographer his enthusiastic and devoted disciple John,^ whose 
vivifying love, even across the cold centuries of history, performs 
the miracle of making his master's figure live. 

The details which John gives about Odo's childhood he 
learnt from Odo himself. Once when abbot and. disciple were 
travelling together far from the monastery, John ' laid aside his 
timidity, boldly raised his voice, and did not fear diligently to 
ask Odo to deign to tell him about his childhood and his monastic 
life. He, as was his custom, was silent for a little time, then his 
face moved by emotion, he sighed deeply, and told the story 
of his childhood,^ his words broken by tears and groans.' 

His father was a certain Abbo, different from the men of these 
* modern times ' in that he was learned in the histories of old, 
and knew by heart the Novellae of Justinian. He was also 

^ Bruel, i. 214, Presidente donino Berone abhate. The date of this charter 
is uncertain, 917-922. 253, Sacrosanctae el venerabili ecclesiae St. P.P. . . . 
in villa Cluniaco qiiam abba Berno una cum monachis ad regendurn habere 
videtur (anno 925). 2G9, Clun. quod monasteriuni iussu ac supplemento W. 
decenter in P.P. honore sub providentia Bernonis construiUtr (anno 926). 

^ Migne, 133, p. 43, Vita Odonis a Joanne. 

' It is not known to what part of Gaul Odo's family belonged. In a vision 
before his death St. Martin appeared to him and granted him leave to return 
to his own land, Tours, where he was buried. According to the Vila Anonyma 
he came from Semur. In another passage in the Vita Joanne he is called Odo 

17 C 


familiar witli the Gospel, and was always ready to recite its })re- 
cepts to those around him. Among his contemporaries he was 
held in such esteem that from far and near men came to ask for 
his decision in cases of dispute, assured of his impartiality. A 
deeply religious man, the vigil of a saint found him ever on his 
knees. One Christmas as he watched through the still hours of 
the holy night, he was moved to beseech God ever more and 
more urgently for the gift of a son, a boon hitherto denied him. 
His prayer was heard, and his wife Arenberga, though past the 
age of child-bearing, bore him a son.^ As the boy grew older, 
often did the father dwell on the story of his birth. 

Another story of his childhood Odo later learnt from his 
father's lips. One day Abbo entered the sejpta cuhiculi and 
found the baby alone. Fearful of its safety he raised the child 
in his arms, and confiding him to St. Martin said, ' Oh, gem of 
saints, receive this child.' He told no one of this incident, but 
St. Martin did not forget. 

A third story presaged the boy's future greatness. He was 
sent to a ' remote district ' to be educated by a priest, who 
was one day visited by the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul. 
They demanded the boy, whom they required for their service 
in Eastern parts. The priest, terrified at the thought of the 
parents' anger should the boy be missing, implored the apostles 
to give up their project. This they consented to do, but only, 
as they explained, for the moment. The priest hastened to 
send the boy home. 

Then came a change in Odo's life. He had probably been 
a delicate child, but as he grew to youth he developed such 
strength and vigour ^ that his father repented of having destined 
him for an ecclesiastical, and resolved to train him for a military 
career. His literary studies were brought to a close, and he was 
sent as a page to the court of William of Aquitaine. There his life 

1 Vita ; cf. Bruel, i. 584. This charter states that a brother {germanus) of 
Odo's gave a church to Cluny (942-53). There is also a story in the Vita 
about the infant son of Odo's brother. 

2 Vita Joanne, i. 8, Strenuum et conspicabilem iuvenew. 


passed in hunting and military exercises ; but this, though it 
might please his father's pride, was not pleasing to St. Martin, 
who was not content to have so promising an acolyte escape. 
In sleep Odo was terrified by visions. Hunting brought him no 
pleasure, but immense fatigue. It seemed to him that his life 
was given over to evil. The change from the quiet life in some 
remote village with the studious priest to the coarse and rough 
pleasures of the hardy fighting baron must have been most 
distasteful to the boy's sensitive temperament, all the more if 
he knew the story of the apostles' visit, and in the quiet fields 
had thought and dreamed of the service for which they needed 
him. Very lonely and far away from that service he must have 
felt, in the court even of so pious a duke as William of Aquitaine, 
a court thronged by many a hard-living and hard-drinking feudal 
baron. As the years passed, the life grew more distasteful to 
him, and when he entered his sixteenth year his sufferings 
increased so much that Abbo in alarm advised him to follow 
his example, and to pass in prayer the vigil of each saint. This 
Odo did, but received no permanent relief. Then one Christmas, 
as he kept his vigil, he was seized by a passion of self-reproach 
and fear that his life was not pleasing to Christ. In anguish he 
poured out his soul to the Virgin. As if in answer a terrible 
pain in his head tortured him. It passed, but it returned, and 
for three years after this he was racked with pain, was taken home, 
and every medical aid of the time procured for him, but with 
no result. Finally, his father bethought himself that the son's 
suffering might be a sign from St. Martin, and, marvelling at the 
business-like spirit of the saint, told Odo the story of his early 
dedication. Then mournfully and reproachfully addressing St. 
Martin — 

' Behold,' he said, ' what gratefully I offered exactly thou 
hast required. Truly as is fitting thou art quick to hear our 
vows, but expensive art thou in business.' ^ 

^ Ibid. i. 9, Quod grate obtuli exacle requiris. Vere nt decet exaudibilis es 
in t^oto, sed car us in negotio. 


But here seemed a way of escape to Odo. At the age of 
nineteen he hastened to Tours, where laying his shorn hair 
before the tomb of the saint, he vowed himself to his service, 
and at last received relief from his ])ain. 

Becoming one of the canons of St. Martin's, for six years he 
remained at Tours, second to none in his fervour for the cult of 
the saint ; always guarding him in his heart, telling of him with 
his mouth, and imitating him in his life. His fervent love for St. 
Martin found expression in the three celebrated hymns which at 
this time he composed and dedicated to the saint.^ 

At that time Tours, one of the most important towns in Gaul 
and famous throughout Christendom for the eminence of its 
saint, could offer every luxury of the day and every kind of 
dissipation to a young and distinguished clerk. As patron Odo 
had behind him no less a personage than count Fulc of Anjou, 
who was only too anxious to introduce him to the wealthy circle 
of aristocrats who visited Tours ; whither at one time or another, 
kings, princes, and the most eminent men of the day found their 
way. Nor for spiritual benefit alone was the pilgrimage under- 
taken. The religious duty fulfilled, there were open to the new- 
comer all the pleasures which one of the wealthiest towns of 
Europe could offer. Not the least luxurious life was that led by 
the young canons, most of whom were scions of some noble 
house ; Odo with count Fulc behind him might have lorded 
it with the best. He seems to have entered into the life with 
some zest for a time ; for John writes : ' What crowd of magnates 
surrounded him and what pomp of life was his I prefer not to 
dwell on lest I should do injury to that poverty which after- 
wards he followed.' 2 But that life soon palled on him, and he 
spurned it. Having learnt to despise the glory of the world he 
longed to live only in God. 

His life of the next period was very different. During the day 
he fatigued himself by reading and during the night by prayer. 

^ Ibid. i. 10, Tres hymnos in eius laude composuit 
2 Ibid. i. II. 


His reading was not confined to spiritual works. He began 
to study the poems of Virgil, a study which came to an untimely 
end. One night in a vision he saw a vase beautiful in form, 
but full of serpents. Immediately he recognised in the serpents 
the doctrines of the poets, in the vase the book of Virgil. From 
this he understood that the right way to slake his intellectual 
thirst was by Christ alone. Therefore, giving up the study of 
the secular poets, he turned to the Gospels and prophets. ^ 

Even here difficulties awaited him, for his zeal in poring 
over the Scriptures seemed so unnatural to his fellow-canons 
that they did their best to dissuade him from it. 

' Why ', they barked, ' do you do such things ? Why do 
you want to know about strange writers ? In such study you 
will waste the flower of your youth. Spare yourself. Leave that 
unintelligible stuff, and go instead to the psalms.' Odo possessing 
his soul in patience paid no heed, and continued his studies. 

Determined to give himself up wholly to spiritual contem- 
plation, he retired to a little cell about two miles from the tomb 
of St. Martin. 2 There for two years he lived a life of poverty, 
following the Gospel precept and taking no thought for the 
morrow. During this time his only food was daily a pound of 
bread and a handful of beans, ' and what is contrary to the 
Frankish nature, very little drink '. Having read in the rule of 
St. Benedict that a monk ought to sleep in his clothes,^ and not 
quite understanding what was meant, he obeyed, and though 
not a religious, yet bore the yoke of the monk. He never 
closed the door of his cell. There was nothing within it to steal 
not even a bed, for he slept on the ground. ' Nevertheless his 
body was not blackened by contact with the earth, nor his mind 
weakened by the long continuance of his fast?.' It was 
perhaps as well for Cluny's mission that its future abbot passed 
through this phase of extreme asceticism when still a young man. 

' Ibid. i. 13. 

- St, Martin when bishop of Tours (fourth century) called monks to Mar- 
moutiers outside Tours, where they lived a hermit-like life. 
^ Vita Joanne i. 15, vt dormire debeant vestiti. 


Against so redoubtable an adversary Satan could not but pit 
his strength. Many and various were the snares he laid for Odo. 
One night, as he proceeded alone and unprotected to the tomb 
of St. Martin, the devil sent against him a pack of foxes. Guard- 
ing only his throat Odo went doggedly forward, till a deliverer 
appeared in the form of a wolf, wlio not only dispersed his 
assailants but thereafter became his constant companion.^ Then 
in several of the manuscripts follows a delightful touch. ' If 
this story seem incredible to the reader, let him read Jerome's 
life of the blessed Paul, where he will find that two lions pre- 
pared the tomb of the saint. If still unconvinced, let him read 
further the life of Ammonius, whose cell was guarded by two 
dragons. Or again pope Gregory's life of Jerome where we 
learn that sometimes a lion, sometimes a bear used to guard 
his asses.' Scepticism is thus refuted. 

At Tours Odo was attracted to the monastic life. Having 
read the rule of St. Benedict his sole desire from henceforth was 
to follow its precepts : ' Christ now throwing on the soil that 
seed which was to bear forth fruit a hundred fold.' It is not 
surprising that he did not at this time enter a monastery, for 
the condition of the monasteries in Tours was so scandalous as 
to revolt a religious mind. At the end of his life Odo's righteous 
indignation still boiled over at the remembrance of the life led 
by the monks of Tours. To his love of St. Martin it was as the 
' abomination of desolation ' that scandal should ever have 
touched the saint's holy places. To his attentive disciple John he 
described those evil days when the monks began to follow their 
own desires, live corrupt lives, and give up monastic customs. ^ 
They would wear no longer the monastic habit, but paraded 
about in coloured garments, wore flowing cowls and tunics, and 
even covered these with a cloak. Worse still, to be in the 
height of fashion they wore shoes so coloured and shining that 

1 Ibid. i. 14. 

^ Ibid. iii. 1, Persistente monastica congregatione aptid eccUsiam beati 
Martini Turonis coeperunt modnm suum. consuetudinesgne relinquere, ac propriis 
voluntatibvs rifam suam propositumque corrumpere. 


they resembled glass, which they were so afraid of soiling that 
they would not venture to the nightly Lands, but waited till by 
the light of day they might pick their steps ! These and similar 
things they did, defying the rule, but God was to put an end to 
these evils. One night, when all was quiet, a monk saw two men 
enter the dormitory, one with a drawn sword in his hand, the 
other directing him. Pointing out the monks in turn — ' Strike ', 
the one called to the other, ' here and here.' In time all were 
numbered, and the sword came nearer and nearer to the watcher 
till it hovered over him. With a terrible cry he adjured them — 
' By the living God slay me not.' Immediately the sword was 
withdrawn, and of all only he escaped.^ 

The evil condition of monastic life Odo attributed to the 
invasion of the Northmen, when many of the Benedictine order 
returned to the world and its pleasures, and forsaking their 
monastic communities enjoyed once more family life, and the 
society of their relatives and friends.^ No longer working 
together for the prosperity of a particular monastery, they 
sought to enrich themselves. Tearing up their old garments, 
and not content with plain new ones, they arrayed them- 
selves in fine colours. Even the few who remained constant to 
their profession preferred outside the monastic walls to dress 
like laymen. The terrible consequence of this one of these 
monks learnt to his cost. He was sent on business outside the 
monastery with a companion. Before starting he divested him- 
self of his habit, an example which his companion virtuously 
refused to follow. On the journey the first monk was struck 
by mortal sickness. As the agony of death came upon him, he 
and his companion saw the vision of a throne on high, where 

^ Ibid. When Odo was instructing the young monks in the regular discij)iine 
he would often tell them of the miserable fate which had overtaken many 
monks, so as to restrain their youthful temperaments, and guide them like a 
she])herd by the staff of terror to the joys of heaven. On one such occasion 
John had asked how and when motiastic life had degenerated and whether it 
had sunk as low in the rest of Europe as in Italy. In reply Odo told the two 
stories above. John first met Odo in Rome, and received his training at 
Pavia (p. 04) - J bid. iii. 2. 


St. Benedict sat surrounded by an innumerable army of monks. 
Before the throne the dying monk saw himself lie prostrate, 
beseeching pardon. One of the monks near the throne inter- 
ceded for him. St. Benedict replied that though he saw a man 
before him, yet, as he did not recognise the habit, he could do 
nothing ; it was not within his powers to discuss those of another 
order, or judge their lives. 

. At these words despair seized the dying monk, but in a 
passion of pity his companion took off his habit and wrapped 
it round the sinner, whereupon the saint commanded the latter 
to arise. Awakening from sleep the companion did as he had 
seen himself do in the vision, and strengthening his friend by 
prayer, and fortifying him with the holy Eucharist, sent him 
forth fearless on his last journey. 

Such were the incidents which struck Odo most in the life 
of the monks of Tours, awakening in him the desire to dedicate 
himself to the work of monastic reform, as the closing words of 
his hymn in honour of St. Martin showed : 

Monastico nunc ordini 
Jam pene lapso ^bveni. 

Meantime his fame had grown steadily. Notwithstanding 
his desire to remain hidden from the world in his little cell, he 
became one of the best-known figures at Tours, and to see him a 
coveted event of the pilgrimage. Those who had known him 
desired to recall themselves to his memory, and those who did 
not, sought the privilege of friendship. To all, like a flowing 
fountain, he offered delectable draughts ; to all, as an open 
library, he gave fitting example. He admonished and directed 
all who came to him, teaching one to condemn the world, and 
another not to covet its goods. He wept with prophetic soul 
over the evils to come, crying, * Behold, Lord, how is the city 
which was full of riches made desolate.' The guilty, listening to 
him, were terrified. The guiltless, strong in innocence, rejoiced 
at the consolation of his words. Thus he saved many, who to 


show their gratitude wished to load him with gifts which he 
steadfastly refused. So it was he who, from being a pupil, began 
to lead his masters, and to be an example to his many followers.^ 

After a time, disappointed at having his solitude invaded, he 
betook himself to Paris in order to study. ^ There his teacher 
in all branches of the liberal arts was Remigius. Having finished 
his studies at Paris, he returned to Tours. This time the canons 
regarded his intellectual abilities with greater respect, and asked 
him to write an abridgement of the Moralia of pope Gregory 
the Great. Odo refused, feeling that it would be desecration to 
curtail so great a work. The canons accused him of laziness, 
' and there was no small altercation between them daily '. 
Finally the pope himself descended in a vision and entrusted 
Odo with the task, when his scruples were removed. 

It was at Tours that, through his connection with count Fulc, 
he made a friendship which was to change the course of his life. 
Fulc, fallen from grace, had abstracted two golden vases from 
St. Martin's treasury, and refused to give them back. A mortal 
illness which attacked him witnessed to the weight of the saint's 
displeasure. No prayer nor gift could move him to bestow on 
Fulc the gift of health. In a dying condition the count was 
carried to the saint's tomb, when Odo went to him and fear- 
lessly thundered, ' Give back, oh wretch, the vases which thou 
stolest, then only will St. Martin give thee back health.' Fulc 
obeyed, and straightway was healed. But to one of Odo's 
temperament it was not enough to have saved the count's body, 
he longed to save his soul by winning him to dedicate to God 
the life which had been miraculously restored to him. Grateful 
though he was, Fulc tliought this asking too much. He proposed 
a substitute in his friend Adhegrinus, to whom on return- 
ing home he told the story of his miraculous healing. Fired 
by the tale, Adhegrinus hastened to seek the wonder-worker, 

1 Ibid. i. 17. 

" Ibid. i. 19, Ibiqne dialecticam sci Avgustini Deodato fiUo missam j)er}egit 
et Martianum in liberalibus artibus frequenter lectitavit. 


and moved by Odo's words renounced his military career, gave 
his possessions to the poor, and shaving his head dedicated 
himself to the service of God. His example was followed by 
several of his companions, to whom ' suddenly the world stood 
revealed as a sink of iniquity, and men hastening towards the 
bottomless hell '. No escape seemed possible except in the 
monastic life, and straightway they sought throughout all Francia 
a monastery where they might live the regular life. Unsuccess- 
ful in their quest they returned sorrowful, to settle in the little 
huts which in their first religious fervour they had built.^ But 
the soul of Adhegrinus was not content, and he resolved to go 
on pilgrimage to Rome. His way lay through Burgundy, where 
he stopped at the vill Baume, and received hospitality in the 
monastery of which Berno was abbot. There he found to his 
joy what he had sought in Francia in vain, a monastery where the 
regular life was lived, and where he could be received. Having 
obtained permission to remain and study the customs of the monks, 
and finding tliem all he could desire, he made known the glad 
tidings to Odo. The latter, taking with him his library of a hundred 
books (for he was a learned man), at once set out for Baume. ^ 
Difficulties awaited him. Some of the monks, ' whose life and 
morals ', John severely remarks, ' can be judged by the following 
incident,' came out to meet him, and feigning not to understand 
his purpose in coming attempted to weaken it. ' Hast thou ', 
they cried, ' come hither for thy soul's health to join a monastery 
which we for our souls' health have resolved to flee ? Hast thou 
not heard of the severity of Berno ? Alas, alas, if thou but knew'st 
how he treats the monks. His corrections he drives home with 
the whip, and those whom he whips he binds with cords, he tames 
their spirits in prison, he afflicts them with fasts, and even after 
suffering all this, the miserable monks may not obtain mercy.' 

^ Ibid, i, 22, Non fuit locus in Franciae finibus ubi audierunt adfuisse 
monasterium in quo aut per se non issent, aut suos perlustratores non misissent 
et non invenientes religionis locum inter eos in quo requiescere possent. 

^ Ibid. i. 23, Sumptis secum centum voluminibus librorum. . . . Quia erai 
vir scholasticus. 


Judging from the austerity of Odo's life at Tours, this account 
of Berno's severity might have attracted him, but this was not 
so, and trembling he resolved to flee. At that moment his 
friend Adhegrinus appeared, and vehemently taking up Berno's 
defence, denounced the speakers. Then, supported by his friend, 
Odo entered the monastery. 

The friends did not remain long together. For Odo one 
phase of asceticism was past which for Adhegrinus was yet to 
come. After three years Adhegrinus begged permission to 
follow the life of a hermit, and retiring to a tiny habitation 
among the rocks spent in solitude and penance the remaining 
thirty years of his life. Odo on the contrary found his soul's 
salvation better to be attained within the monastic community. 
Having thus brought him to the haven where he would be, and 
where he was to pass the next fifteen years of his life, we may, 
like the author of the Vita, turn to consider some of the customs 
of Baunie which later were followed at Cluny. 

Unfortunately the author of the Vita gives little information 
about those customs, and much of what he tells is concerned 
with what now seem trivial details. One important fact he 
does mention, that Adhegrinus found the monks of Baume 
following the precepts of a certain father whom they called 
Euticus.^ The account of the latter points unmistakeably to 
Benedict of Aniane. 

Benedict of Aniane did not regard the Benedictine rule as 
rigid, but modified it as he thought fitting. In what was the 
chief duty of Benedictine life, the opus Dei, the monks of Baume 
followed his adaptation of the rule, i.e. the number of psalms 
and prayers to be said and sung were increased. At Baunie 
daily 138 psalms were sung, though the number was later reduced 

^ Ibid. i. 23, Fvit isdem vir temporibns LtidoHci maqni imperatoris carus 
regi, omnibns amabilis . . . in tavto amore apud regem li-abitus vt intra palatium. 
illi construeret monasterium . . . ipse enim pater Euticus inMitutor fuit haruvi 
cons^ieAudinum quae Jmctenus in nostril tnonasteriis liabentut,-^"^ \ 

^ v-c? OF , 

BT, MICH ...u.'i 

COLLtGfe y ^y 


by 14 because some weak souls objected that it was not fitting 
for the number of psalms to exceed that of prayers. During 
the octaves of Christmas and Easter only 75 psalms daily 
were sung. Every day also two masses were said and 
two litanies sung.^ The same division was later followed at 
Cluny. The rule of prescribed hours of silence that obtained at 
Baume was also followed at Cluny. At certain hours which 
were called ' incompetent ' no one dared speak within the 
cloisters, nor walk with another brother. In certain penitential 
seasons no one was allowed to speak except at the chapter. ^ In 
the last week of Advent and in Holy Week the deepest silence 
reigned day and night. On the vigil of a saint the abbot had 
the right of imposing silence. During prolonged periods of 
silence the monks either spoke with their fingers, or made signs 
with their eyes. By these means they could supply themselves 
with every necessary of daily life. According to John the life 
of a monk is edifying only if he has practised silence. ' Without 
that whatever his other virtues, even if he follow all the institu- 
tions of the fathers, his life is nothing worth.' ^ 

A third point in which Benedict of Aniane's modification of 
the rule was followed was in still further increasing the powers 
of the abbot * and reducing those of the monk. The latter had 
to give up his own will, and in every trifle submit himself to his 
abbot. This was carried to such an extent that it has been said 
that whereas the first Benedict taught the monk to be humble, 
the second made him cringe. At Baume the monk when accused 
of a fault threw himself prostrate at the feet of the abbot without 
attempting any justification. This grace of excessive humility 
was one in which Odo excelled, to the deep admiration of his 
biographer, John. One night, in what was a case of necessity, Odo 

1 Ibid. i. 22. ^ j^i^ j 31 

^ There were many other points which unfortunately John did not insert, 

being afraid of wearying the reader. 

* Butler in his Benedictine Monachism points out that the first Benedict 

vested the sole power over the monastery in the abbot who had full patriarchal 

powers (p. 217 et seq.). 


as magister scJiolae transgressed the rule by which he should not 
have been alone with one of the oblati. Delighted to have caught 
him trii)ping, several of the monks accused him publicly in the 
chapter. Odo, attempting no excuse, rose and threw himself 
prostrate before Berno, who marvelling at his humility, yet 
wishing to try hira further, feigned deep indignation and con- 
demned him to ' excommunication '. Not even then did Odo 
seek to urge the extenuating circumstance, but in a passion of 
still greater humility prostrated himself before each of his 
accusers in turn, praying them to seek his pardon. After this 
he was dearer than ever to Berno. 

A charming story illustrates Odo's humility and at the same 
time one of the customs of Baume. During refection, one of the 
monks read aloud to his fellows till stopped at the end of the 
meal by a sign from the abbot.^ Before this moment each 
monk had carefully to collect and eat his crumbs. Now among 
the moiiiks there was one — i.e. Odo — who always listened to the 
reading with such rapt attention that frequently he forgot to 
eat, for before the spiritual food the earthly lost its savour. 
One day he was so engrossed that he forgot all about his crumbs. 
Full of remorse he did not know what to do, for after refection 
the monks went straight to chapel. He hastily collected the 
crumbs, joined in the prayers, and after chapel threw himself 
prostrate before Berno. Asked in what he had sinned he 
stretched forth his hand full of the crumbs, which in that very 
moment were changed to pearls ! Great was the admiration 
and amazement of the brothers. The practical Berno ordered 
the pearls to be made into church ornaments. 

The rule about the crumbs was evidently considered very 
important. A monk on his deathbed was heard to call despair- 
ingly for help. He had seen himself before the judgement seat, 
where the devil, holding a little sack full of all the crumbs 
he had neglected to eat, stood ready to accuse him. Twice 

^ Ibid, i, 35. A change in the rule due to the second Benedict. Originally 
the abbot took his meals with the guests, but this was found impracticable. 


with a terrible cry the wretched monk shrieked, ' Do ye not 
see, do ye not see that the devil with the sack is standing among 
you ? ' then fortifying himself with the sign of the cross he fell 
back dead. This dramatic end made a deep impression on the 
brothers. Ever after the crumbs were carefully collected by all.^ 

Odo also laid great, stress on two other points which Berno 
before him evidently tried hard to enforce, (1) that no private 
property should be held by the monks,^ and (2) that no flesh 
meat should be eaten. When he entered Baume the monks could 
not believe that he had renounced all his earthly possessions, and 
sent hira forth with one of their number to fetch them. As a 
judgement the monk accompanying him fell ill and died. 

To Odo the eating of meat was the cause of all fleshly lusts. 
Two stories from his lips showed what direful punishment 
would overtake the monk who was disobedient on this point. 
A monk on a visit to his sister, when offered fish, said he was 
sick of fish and demanded flesh and wine instead. When this 
was served he joyfully sat down to eat. His joy was short- 
lived, for unable either to eject or swallow his first mouthful, 
' he lost ', as John quaintly puts it, ' both food and life '. ^ 
Another monk on a visit home was annoyed to find no food 
ready. His relatives refused to be browbeaten and explained 
that it was not dinner-time, whereupon the monk replied that 
he had not ridden all night on duty to be forced at the end to 
fast. To appease him he was offered fish, which incensed him 
the more. Seeing at his feet a brood of chickens, he snatched 
one up and cried, ' Let this be my fish to-day.' When his 
friends asked in surprise if he had a dispensation to eat flesh, 
he casuistically explained, ' Fowl is not flesh, and fowl and 

1 Ibid. i. 31. 

2 The first St. Benedict regarded this as of the utmost importance. The 
holding of private property was to him the worst of vices {nequissimum viliiim). 
The monk was to have nothing of his own, and on taking vows was to give his 
possessions to the poor, or make them over to his monastery. In practice, 
however, this was found very difficult. Odo, like Pachomius, foresaw the ruin 
of monasticism from the holding of private property. 

3 Ibid. iii. 3. 


fish have one origin and equal condition, as our hymn bears 
witness.' Then when the chicken was placed before him, he 
snatched up a bone. But he too was unable to swallow, and 
after being unmercifully cudgelled by the onlookers he died.^ 

During the fifteen or sixteen years that Odo remained at 
Baume his life probably passed in the quiet routine of con- 
templation and prayer ; but not in idleness, for in a tantalisingly 
short sentence John explains that on his arrival at Baume, 
' being a learned man, he was made schoolmaster '.^ No 
further information is given about the Sckola. The pupils were 
boys probably living at the monastery (oblati), and some of 
the monks. At that time Odo was thirty years old.^ 

Peaceful as the life was, friction was not lacking. Odo's 
virtues made him a prominent figure among the brethren, and 
this, joined to the fact that he was especially beloved by Berno, 
aroused the animosity of the reactionary party, those monks who 
found Berno's discipline too severe, and who had tried to keep 
Odo from entering the monastery. ' The head of this pest ' 
was Wido. He with his followers did not cease to oppose Odo, 
and to hurl false accusations and insults at his head. Each 
instigated the other to tempt him, even though half afraid that 
they might themselves be the sufferers, if Odo, more learned 
than they, should refuse to teach them. Wido, however, knew 
his man well, and assured his followers that Odo would bear 
these and worse injuries without any attempt at retaliation. 
His only weapon against his persecutors was patience, and never 

^ Ibid. St. Benedict forbade the eating of flesh meat to all except the sick. 
But it was always a disputed point whether fowl was to be classed with meat, 
or with fish as in Genesis. Cf. also the hymn — 

Magnae DeuH potent ine 
Qui ex aqiiis ortum genus 
Pnrtim remittis gurgiii 
Partim levas in aera. 

^ Ibid. i. 23, Nam patri Odoni quia erat vir scholasticus, laboriosum scholae 
unposuerufit magisierium. By the Capitulary of 817 Benedict laid down that 
there should be no schools for outside pupils in the monasteries of Francia, 
but only for boys belonging to the monastery. 

"" Ibid. i. 33. 


attempting justification he flung himself, at each new trial, 
seeking pardon at their feet. ' This he did not from timidity, 
but from brotherly love, in the hope that by his patience he 
might correct those whom he saw incurring the divine vengeance. 
Checked they were, yet ever like running water they returned 
to their evil ways, persecuting him whom they ought to have 
imitated.' After Berno's death these monks returned to the 
world and came to a bad end ! 

Apart from this ill-will Odo must have passed his days in 
p6ace and quiet. Yet he could not be happy when he thought 
of his parents still enmeshed in the snares of the world. Having 
obtained permission from Berno he sought out his father, and 
persuaded him to enter a monastery. His mother took the veil, 
and later became an eminent abbess. His brother Bernard ^ also 
took vows after his infant son (still unbaptized) had been carried 
off by the Northmen. Miraculously saved and restored to Odo's 
arms, in them the child was baptized and died.^ 

The name of Odo's mother recalled to John a story which 
illustrated Odo's feeling about monasticism. Once when absent 
from the monastery he stayed at the house of a nobleman who 
was away from home, but whose daughter watched him all 
evening eager to learn about his life. At night she came to him 
secretly, and falling at his feet begged him to save her from her 
approaching marriage. Odo did not know what to do, knowing 
he would be answerable to God for the girl's soul, yet foreseeing 
the scandal if he, a monk, dared to take her away. Finally, 
' overcome by the love of God and the girl's sobs ', he rode into 

1 Bruel, i. 584. Bernardus gave Cluny a church near Lyons : Pro remedio 
anime mee el amite mee, et fratris mei Odonis abbatis. 

^ Vila Joanne, ii. 16. A pilgrim stojDping at the monastery where John 
wrote, probably Salerno, on his way to Jerusalem long after told the story. 
The Normans when devastating the land round Tours carried off the child and 
his nurse eight days' journey from Tours, and across a river too deep to cross 
except by boat. There seemed no hope of escape. Yet the nurse passed through 
the ranks of the enemy, crossed the river, and in three days reached Tours, having 
suffered neither hunger, thirst, nor fatigue. Odo baptized the child and prayed 
it might die. 


the night, ordering the servants to follow with the girl. Next 
day he left her in an oratory near Baume,^ ' where noble women 
were wont to come for prayer '. When he told Berno, the abbot 
rebuked him for having dared to act on his own initiative. 
Prostrate on the ground, and clasping Berno's feet, Odo besought 
pardon. Only after reiterated questioning would he defend 
himself, saying : ' Oh lord and father, ever from the moment 
that thou didst deign to receive me, a sinner, I have seen that 
thy sole care was the saving of souls. Other abbots may study 
to gain material things and please men. Thou, relying on mercy 
and virtue, seek'st through the salvation of souls to please God 
alone. I wished to follow thy example in saving this virgin 
to the glory of thy name. For although in the end her tears 
overcame me, yet I was not unmindful of thy reproach, but I 
had rather suffer the flagellation of my holy father than be held 
guilty for her soul. And would that I could free all the women 
bound in the chains of the flesh who live in this province, and 
thou flagellate me for each in thy pious manner.' ^ Thus he 
turned aside the anger of Berno, who exhorted him to strengthen 
the girl daily in holy instruction, lest tempted by the devil she 
returned to the world. This Odo did, and a few days later 
took her to a convent near, where not long after she died : saved, 
as was evident to all, for St. Paul himself came to receive her soul. 
The next event of importance in Odo's life was his ordination 
to the priesthood. Knowing that in his humility he would con- 
sider himself unworthy, Berno asked bishop Turpio of Limoges 
to ordain him, without telling Odo of his intention. When 
the bishop arrived, Odo was commanded on his obedience as a 
monk to receive ordination. So unworthy did he feel himself, 

^ Mabillon, Ann. v. p. 08. There were two convents for women near 
Baume. one founded by 8t. Ronianiis, and situated near the Jura mountains, 
the other near the river Doubs, in the mountains of Besan -on. Odo refers to 
one of tliem in the Colhttionc^, iii. 21, when telling of the ]mnishment which 
overtook two of tlie nuns tliere who returned to the world. J)u(iv sdnrlinioniahs 
de nionaMerio pucUano)! quod iuxin xo.stnoii Bnhna situm est. 

- To Odo as to Augustine marriage itself was wrong. Coll. ii. 204, Si ergo 
lanta est culpa in coniugali concubitu ut infans pro ilia sola puniri debcot. . . . 



that awakening that night and feeling the priest's stole round 
his neck, he gave himself up to lamentation, and for long through 
his excessive humility could scarcely summon up courage to go 
beyond the gates of the monastery. Pitying his misery, Berno 
sent him to Limoges on a visit to bishop Turpio, a visit which led 
to the writing of his second book. One day when he and the 
bishop were discussing the evil condition of the church, Odo 
taking Jeremiah as his inspiration spoke with such sombre 
eloquence that the bishop begged him to write his words down. 
When Odo objected that he could not write without first 
obtaining his abbot's consent, Turpio himself went to Baume 
to obtain it. The result was the Collationes?- 

Thus in teaching, in study, and in prayer, Odo's life at 
Baume passed. He entered the monastery when he was thirty. 
Fifteen or sixteen years later, Berno, feeling his strength fail, 
summoned the neighbouring bishops to Baume, and divested 
himself of ' that office of which he a sinner had been unworthy '. 
Then he ordered the monks to freely choose an abbot. With 
one accord they named Odo, whom resisting they dragged before 
Berno. So passionately did he declare himself unworthy, that 
it required the bishop's threat of ' excommunication ' to make 
him accept the office. Soon after Berno died (c. 927). 

Whatever the contradiction of authorities as to the origins 
of Cluny, this fact at least is clear, that the monastery, as yet 
unfinished, came under the headship of the most eminent and 
virtuous monk of Baume. The seniores followed liim,^ i.e. 
probably those monks who had supported Berno in his efforts 
to uphold discipline. Henceforth while Cluny was to increase, 
Baume was to decrease. The contrast between the histories of 
the two monasteries shows how much Cluny owed to the per- 
sonality of her second abbot. 

^ Vita Joanne, i. 37, Tres libellos composuit ex Jeremie vaticinio quorum 
textus per diver sas ecclesias est translatus. 

^ Ibid,, ii. 1, Secuti sunt autem eum seniores loci illius. 


Much of Odo's success may be attributed to the fact that he 
entered on his work as no young unbalanced monk, but as a man 
tried and trained in the discipline of life. Probably to that 
fact may be attributed his following the principle of moderation 
which so largely contributed to the monastery's success ; a 
principle befitting the times, in which, owing to the almost entire 
disappearance of monastic life, and the consequent licence, any 
attempt at discipline, however moderate, was resented. Almost 
fifty when he became sole abbot of Cluny, and having passed 
through a phase of severe asceticism at Tours, he was able to 
judge the evils as well as the merits of excessive devotion, in this 
resembling the first Benedict. 

Apart from the personal character of her abbot, there seemed 
to be few factors working for Cluny's future greatness. The 
abbey was poor, and in a land to which many relics had been 
brought for safety, possessed none to attract popular fervour. 
Nevertheless in four years, thanks to the exceptional ability and 
deep spirituality of her abbot, Cluny had become known as a 
reforming centre. A great future clearly lay before her. For 
that future her geographical position was in her favour. She 
lay in the shelter of gently swelling hills, in a part of Burgundy 
into which neither Normans, Huns, nor Saracens seem to have 
penetrated. She lay near one of the pilgrim routes to Rome 
and near the highways of the Saone and the Rhone. More favour- 
able still was her position for developing her principle of monastic 
autonomy, situated as she was in a part of Burgundy where 
independence was possible. For there the authority of both 
Frankish king and Teutonic emperor was negligible, what 
semblance of power the one possessed being neutralised by the 
other. Cluny conveniently distant from both was practically 
independent of either. Nor had she anything to fear from the 
dukes of Burgundy, who at this time were occupied in holding 
back the incursions of the barbarians. Besides there was no 
reason why any of the three powers should have troubled about 
the small, insignificant, poverty-stricken monastery, and Cluny 


was left free to develop. Her greatest struggle for independence, 
that against the attempted domination ^f her diocesan, the 
bishop of Macon, came after Odo's death. 

Odo's first care at Cluny was to go on with the building of 
the monastery. Even after the work was well in hand the monks 
saw themselves threatened with disaster through lack of funds. 
Neither from Baume nor from Gigny was help to be expected. 
Gloom settled at Cluny. Not in vain, however, had been Odo's 
fervour in the cult of St. Martin. On the festival of that saint, 
a day ever to be celebrated with special honours at Cluny, Odo 
after morning celebration saw a venerable old man regarding 
the unfinished building. His examination finished, the old man 
informed the enraptured abbot that he was St. Martin himself, 
come to tell the monks that if they persevered and their courage 
did not fail, he would see that necessary funds were sent to them ! 
A few days after, 3000 solidi were brought as a gift from ' Gothia ' 
to Cluny, a sum sufficient to avert disaster and allow the monks 
to continue their labours. ^ Another wonder marked the com- 
pletion of their work. When the monks had finished the oratory, 
they asked the neighbouring bishop to consecrate it. On the 
appointed day, having either forgotten or not having realised 
the poverty of the brothers, the bishop was seen approaching 
w^th many followers. Having no provisions to feed so many 
the monks were in despair, when a huge animal emerged from the 
forest, and came near the church door, upon which — a realistic 
touch — the guardian incontinently fled ! Quietly and peace- 
ably the animal rubbed itself against the door, and remained there 
till the bishop arrived, when it offered itself a willing sacrifice 
for the needs of the brothers. They with fervent thanks to 
God were enabled sumptuously to feast their guests. ^ 

Apart from the poverty of the abbey Odo at first met with 
other difficulties. As an old man he warned John of the many 

1 Ibid. ii. 2. 

- Ibid. ii. 3. In some of the manuscripts the animal is called a boar, in 
others simply imrnane, probably to heighten the effect. 


trials to his patience which he, as abbot, must expect. ' This 
he made clear, by telling of all he himself had suffered from his 
monks when he first became abbot, but as all of them since then 
have become eminent for their holiness and sanctity of life, it 
would ill beseem me to dwell on their earlier faults.' ^ Never- 
theless from the beginning Cluny flourished under Odo's fostering 
care, and in 927 he obtained for it a royal charter from Rudolf 
of Burgundy, king of the Franks. ^ 

How essential in his eyes the principle of the monastery's 
autonomy was, is seen from the fact that almost the whole of 
the charter is occupied with that point. The preamble reca- 
pitulated how duke William of Acjuitaine had founded Cluny 
{per manus Bernonis construxit), had under a great and terrible 
oath freed it from all secular domination and subjected it to 
Rome alone, ' for protection not domination '.^ Therefore 
Rudolf the king, rejoicing over the work and favouring the con- 
stitution, proclaimed that, according to William's testament, 
Cluny was freed from the interference and absolved from the 
authority of kings, princes, relatives of William, and all men 
whomsoever. What property the monastery possessed, or in 
the future would possess, was to be held without let or hindrance. 
No one was to take away its serfs or freemen.* The monks were 
not to pay tolls in the markets. In cases where they held part of 
woods or of ploughed land, they only were to receive terraticum. 
They could have tenths from demesne land for hospitality.^ 
Alfracta was to be theirs with an alod, serfs, and a manor. 
Other two alods which they had received were to be held in 

1 Ibid. ii. 7. 

- Bruel, i. 285. The charter begins : — As it is certain that God will not 
cast away the powerful without whom there would be no power, so it is certain 
that He will inquire about their works. Therefore it behoves the king to do 
good especially to holy church and thus to work with God, and win eternal 

•* Ibid., Ab omni secular i dominatu libennn sub magna et terribili adiuratione 
fecit. Apostolicae sedi ad tuendum non ad dominandum subligavit. 

* Ibid., Homines eorum liberos ac servos nemo . . . distringat. 

* Ibid., Decimas siias indominicatas ad hospitale habeant. 


perpetuity. After Odo's death they were freely to elect their 
new abbot, and the monastery to continue in that order and 
administration which William had laid down. 

The reform which Berno had begun, Odo not only carried out 
at Cluny but extended to other houses. By 930 he reformed 
Romainmoutier, Tulle, and Aurillac, and in 930 the old and far- 
famed monastery of Fleury. 



Fleury was at one time the most distinguished monastery of 
Gaul, its renown arising from the fact that the bones of St. 
Benedict had been translated to it from Monte Cassino. Hence 
its name, for on the arrival of the relics, though it was autumn 
the ground around the monastery burst into flowers. 

By the tenth century Fleury had fallen from its high estate. 
Just because its reputation for holiness had been so high the 
scandal was the greater when the lives of its monks became 
a byword for infamy. ' After the end of the persecutions of 
the Northmen alas ! though the bodies of the monks were 
reunited at Fleury, their souls were in a divided state, and the 
monastery fell into evil ways.' At last St. Benedict himself 
intervened. Appearing one day to a certain brother he told 
him that, horrified at the conduct of the monks, he was leaving 
Fleury, but would return bringing from Aquitaine a man after 
his own heart. ^ Here was an opportunity for amendment if 
the monks had betaken themselves to penitence and prayer. 
Instead they rushed round the countryside on horseback, in 
the hope of finding the saint, and forcing him to return. Failing 
in their quest they jeered and mocked at the visionary. 

Retribution swiftly fell on them, for count Elisardus, the 
famous warrior, ' hearing of their infamous life asked and 
received the monastery from Rudolf, king of the Franks, which 
he begged Odo to reform'. With his customary zeal Odo, 
accompanied by several monks, a bishop, two counts, and two 
of the chief men of the district, at once set out for Fleury. On 

^ Vita Joanne, iii. 8. 


his arrival he found the monks j)repared for resistance, ready to 
die rather tlian let any man enter. Several of them armed with 
spears and swords guarded the approach to the monastery. 
Others hurled down stones from the roof. Notwithstanding 
this brave array there was division among them. ' Alas, alas,' 
they cried, ' why did we not believe the story of our brother ? 
All things that he told us have come true, for is not this Odo of 
Aquitaine ? And did we not suspect that it was he of whom 
St. Benedict spoke ? Why did we not take the initiative, and 
send to him, or invite him of our own accord ? ' Only one of the 
monks, Wulfaldus, kept his head, and seized on the one point 
which could justify his companions, and put the newcomers in 
the wrong. He appealed to the royal charters,^ by which the 
abbey had been exempted from outside control, and granted 
priority over all other monasteries. How then dared the 
upstart Odo touch its rights ? Odo could only reply that he 
came peaceably, with no desire to injure any one's rights or 
person, and simply to correct irregularities. ^ 

Against this the monks protested, and threatened to murder 
him. For three days intermediaries went to and fro, and matters 
were at a deadlock, till Odo took the decision into his own hands. 
Without telling his companions he mounted an ass, and rode 
alone towards the monastery. When his intention dawned on 
his terrified companions, the bishop and the others ran after 
him, calling, ' Whither goest thou, father ? Dost thou not know 
that they are ready to slay thee ? nay, that at the very moment 
thev see thee, thou shalt die the death ? Dost thou then seek to 
cause them joy, and us inconsolable grief ? ' But not thus was 
Odo to be stopped, for the just man like the lion is without fear. 
And what seemed a miracle happened. At his approach the 
heart of his enemies was changed. With one accord they threw 

1 Ibid. iii. 8, Precepta regalia in quibvs continebahir ut nulli ex alia 
congregatione ullo unquam tempore liceret eiusdem loci prioratum subire. 

2 Ibid., Pacifice veni ut neminem laedam nvlli noceam sed ut incorrectos 
regulariter corrigam. 


away their weapons, and embraced his feet. Great was the joy 
that day. 

Odo then took over the direction of the monastery and 
remained alone at Fleury, while his friends returned home. He 
found it no easy task to carry out the reform, for though an out- 
burst of emotion had thrown the monks at his feet, in the ' daily 
round, the common task ', they were not so ready to remain 
there. He met with stubborn resistance to the two first principles 
of his reform, that no private possessions should be held within 
the monastery, and that no flesh meat should be eaten. Rather 
than share all things in common the monks preferred to squander 
their possessions on profligates, or to bestow them on friends 
outside the monastery. 

Over the second point, the giving up of flesh meat, Odo had 
foreseen difficulties, and had come provided with large supplies 
of fish. But the monks laid their heads together, and over- 
coming their aversion to that article of diet, eagerly devoured 
Odo's store, so that he would be faced with the alternative, 
of letting them starve, or return to the eating of meat. Every 
day, with malicious eyes, they watched Odo's dwindling supplies, 
rejoicing beforehand in his dilemma when he should find himself 
outwitted. But they had not reckoned with his unquestioning 
obedience to the Gospel precept, ' Take no thought for the 
morrow ' ; and no shade of annoyance nor doubt crossed his 
serene face. ' Intrepid in faith, secure in hope, and fortified in 
charity,' he knew that God would provide. And indeed St. 
lienedict intervened. Appearing to Odo he promised to send a 
hundred solidi to Fleury, and later such quantity of provisions, 
that for long the needs of the monks would be supplied. 

Considering the circumstances in which the reform had been 
carried out, it is not surprising that doubts as to its permanency 
were entertained, and that Odo was glad to have behind him the 
support of the temporal power. This he had from Hugh, duke 
of the Franks, a fact stated in the papal charter of 938, when 
Leo VII., confirming the privileges of Fleury, referred to the 


reform, which he heard had been carried through by Odo, and 
Hiigh.^ The pope threatened with the anathema, monks or 
other persons who by creating disturbances over the election 
of the abbot, or by attacking the property of the monastery, or 
by seeking to seduce the monks from their new way of life ^ 
showed themselves inimical to the monastery's true interests. 
Fleury was to be under no power except the king's. Neither 
he nor any other prince was to give it to bishop, canon, layman 
or other abbot ad dominandum. Five months before, writing 
to the bishops of Lyons, Bourges, Sens and Rheims, Leo expressed 
his sorrow over the iniquity of the times and the decline of religion, 
but his joy over the reform of Fleury, the work of Odo and his 

The reform of so eminent a monastery aroused great expect- 
ations. ' It is our hope,' the pope wrote, ' that if religious 
observance flourishes again in that monastery, the head and chief 
of monasteries, others as members may also revive.' ^ On the 
whole this hope was fulfilled, and Fleury not only recovered its 
old reputation but became an active centre of reform. 

Before considering the reform which emanated from Fleury 
we may mention two of John's stories about Fleury, the first 
showing the jealousy that even trivial points aroused between the 
old order and the new. Odo with several brothers was staying 
at the monastery. On the Saturday evening, according to the 
Cluniac custom, one of them began to clean his boots. This 
innovation intensely annoyed a Fleurian monk, who, although 
it was the silence hour, could not contain his wrath, and burst 
forth, ' Tell me in what passage St. Benedict ever ordered his 
monks to clean their shoes '. On the other circumspectly making 

^ Migne, 132, p. 1075, . . . conversationis comperimus quod filhis nosier Odo, 
venerabilis abbas in hoc monasterio et venerabilis vir Hugo dux Francorum nuper 
stabilierunt alacrius et securius. 

^ Ibid., Sive in detrahenda vel impedienda conversatione quam novelli fratres 

' Ibid., Spes nobis inest quia si in illo coenobio quod est quasi caput ac 
principimn observantia religiosa rejtoruerit, cetera circumqvaqve posita quasi 
membra convalescant. 


the sign for silence, he still more furiously continued : 'Oh, 
thou ! who wast accustomed to gad about the countryside on 
business, hast thou now come hither to preach the rule and to 
correct the life of thy betters ? By swearing and perjury thou 
who like a bird of prey wast accustomed to snatch away 
the substance of thy fellow-men, now impudently settest thy- 
self up for a saint, as if we did not know thee of old. God 
did not make me a serpent that after thy manner I should hiss, 
nor an ox that I should bellow, but a man to speak with the 
tongue He gave me.' Afraid to hear more the Cluniac monk 
fled, pursued by the insults of the other. Next day the scandal 
was reported at the meeting of the chapter, when the hardened 
sinner refused to seek pardon, and had even the audacity to 
maintain that he had done well, and that the other had no right 
to hold himself the better. Odo sorrowful at such pride adjourned 
the dispute to next day, that the peace and joy of the Lord's day 
should not be disturbed. But when the chapter adjourned, the 
offending brother was found to be dumb, and three days later, 
without absolution, he died.^ 

The second story shows the reverence with which Fleury 
was regarded. Odo was there one year for St. Benedict's day. 
Morning Lauds was celebrated before dawn, when St. Benedict 
appeared to a weary brother who had fallen asleep. With 
that charming familiarity incident to visions, the sleeping brother 
asked the saini where he had come from and what he was doing 
there. He had been absent from Fleury in the night, the saint 
replied, to rescue a monk who having left Fleury from pride had 
crossed to Britain, where he had died, and been seized by 
demons. This amazed the sleeping monk, when to his further 
amazement the saint explained that since its foundation there 
was no monk of Fleurv but had been received into eternal 

^ This custom of cleaning the footgear was stopped in the twelfth century 
by Peter the Venerable. It had been useful in the days when the monks 
travelled, but when Cluny grew in size, thougli many of the monks never left 
the cloister, the rule was still obligatory. The monks would therefore wet 
two fingers, and smear their boots, so as to make a show of cleaning them. 


rest. He then asked if the brothers were well supplied with 
fish, and learning they were not, said they should fish not in the 
river but in the marsh. That day he would be present with them 
and would give such a sign that none could mistake his coming. 
When the hour of speech came, the brother told all. Fishers 
were sent to the marsh, but fearful of ridicule went to the river 
and of course caught nothing. Questioned by the oeconomus 
they were ignominiously driven by him to the marsh, where their 
catch was so enormous that they could scarcely drag it back. 
Then the festival dawned, and crowds were seen at the monastic 
gates, the halt, the blind, the paralysed, the sick, all waiting for 
the hour of refection, before which mass was said. When the 
Gloria was sung, suddenly with a loud noise the doors of the 
church burst open.^ All struck with terror looked round, when 
the blind saw, the lame walked, the deaf heard, the sick received 
their health, and the lamps of the church lit up. All understood 
that St. Benedict was with them, and none could restrain their 
tears of joy. 

Odo would not tell the name of the monk who saw the vision, 
therefore it remains doubtful whether it was he or another. 

Fleury's influence spread first to St. Evre's, Toul. Gauzlin, 
bishop of Toul, being interested in the reform movement went to 
Fleury to study it. On returning he brought a copy of the almost 
forgotten Benedictine rule, and reformed St. Evre's,^ where he 
appointed Archimbald, a monk of Fleury, abbot (934). The 
bishop retained supreme authority over the monastery. No 
abbot was to remove it from his jurisdiction, and the election 
of an abbot was valid only if ratified by him. His zeal did not 
stop with the reform of this, the chief monastery of his diocese. 
With Archimbald's help he restored Bouxieres (a convent) and 
reformed St. Mansuy's.^ To the latter Archimbald sent monks 

^ Ibid. iii. 2. So large was the church that of all the vast multitude not 
one had to remain outside, 
- Gesta episc. Tull. c. 31. 
^ Miracula S. Mansueti, SS. iv. p. 508. 


from St. Evre's from which St. Mansuy's was subsidised, but it 
soon lapsed again from grace, and sank into so evil a state that 
it had to be reformed a second time by Gerhard of Brogne. 
A more scandalous state of misrule prevailed at Montierender 
from which the abbot was expelled. The majority of the monks 
fled, and others under the leadership of a monk of St. Evre's 
were settled there.^ Fleury itself was given full rights over 
three monasteries as far distant as Pressy in Autun, Sacerge, 
and La Reole in Gascony.^ The possession of the last proved 
rather a misfortune than a blessing. Its monks were always 
turbulent, and the abbots of Fleury, though too far away to 
control them, were yet held responsible for the scandal of their 
lives. Finally, in an attempt to restore order Abbo, the greatest 
of the abbots of Fleury, lost his life. 

Another important monastery reformed by Fleury, three 
years after Odo's death, was St. Remi of Rheims.^ Its monks 
had been forced to flee during the incursions ot the Huns (926). 
For years after that, Rheims was the centre of the political 
intrigues of the Frankish king and his opponents and no 
thought was given to monastic revival. Finally, Hugh, the 
archbishop, was moved to restore St. Remi's, and asked 
Archimbald of Fleury to help. By his efforts and the favour 
of Gerberga, mother of the Frankish Icing, the former possessions 
of the monastery were won back, and its old reputation restored. 
Within its walls Lothair was crowned, when he granted St. 
Remi's full immunity from dues (953). In 972 John XIII. 
took it under the papal protection, and confirmed its freedom 
from royal, secular, and episcopal control. 

By the end of the tenth century Fleury had attained a 
position, second if not equal to Cluny, with which almost all 
connection had been allowed to drop. In her reform pro- 
paganda the influence of the monastery extended chiefly to 

^ Sackur, Die Cli(ni(jcenscr in ihrer kirrh lichen mid aUgemeingrschUchtUchcn 
Wirksnnikeit, i. p. 17(). 

- Mirac. S. Benedicti, iii. c. 15, c. 4; cf. Vila Abbonis, cap. 20. 
^ Mabilloii, Acta SS. v. 340. 


the north and east of Gaul, and to Lorraine ; even more distant 
England ^ seems to have owed much of her monastic revival to 
Fleury. With the tenth century the most influential days of 
Fleury were over, and its abbots soon sank to being mere 
creatures of the Crown. 

^ Cf. Vita Abbonis, Vita Oswaldi. 



The fact that so celebrated a monastery as Fleury had been 
reformed by the abbot of Cluny, made a stir in ecclesiastical 
circles, and greatly increased Odo's renown. After that event, 
' many from neighbouring regions came to follow the footsteps 
of the holy man, and under his direction to learn the way of 
obedience. In so much was the fame of his holiness noised 
abroad, that not only laymen and canons, but even certain 
bishops joined his community. Thus the ground which had 
been left uncultivated and choked with thorns began to bring 
forth new fruit ; and Odo began to shine like a star, known to 
kings, familiar to bishops, and beloved of magnates. And 
whosoever in those days built a monastery, delivered it to the 
authority (ius) of the father, that he might order and direct it '.^ 
In 931, John XI. granted a charter which contains a clause 
epoch-making in the history of Cluny. ' Because it is only 
too clear that almost all monasteries have erred from the regular 
life, we grant, that if any monk from any monastery should wish 
to pass over to your manner of living with the sole object of 
amending his life, that is, if his former abbot has neglected to 
provide regular means of subsistence for preventing the holding 
of private property, thou mayst receive him until such time as 
the conduct of his monastery be corrected.' - In the past 

^ Vita Joanne. 

2 Migne, 132, p. 1055, Et quia inm pene cuyicta monasteria a suo proposito 
praevaricantnr, conceditnus, lit si qiiis nionachus ex quoUbei monasierio ad 
vestram conversationem, solo duntaxat meliorayidae vitae studio traxsmigrare 
I'oluerit sui videlicet eius abbas regnlarem sumption ad depellendam proprietatern 
habendi ministrare neglexerit, suscipere vobis liceat, quousque nionasterii sui 
conversatio emendetur. 



this privilege had been granted, but very rarely. The decree 
of the Council of Agde ^ had forbidden any abbot to receive 
strange monks within his monastery, unless with their abbot's 
goodwill and consent. Now, however, with the express sanction 
of the papal authority, the way was cleared for Cluny's pro- 
paganda. Possession of Romainmoutier was confirmed, and 
the papal licence granted Odo to receive any other monastery 
under his authority for reform. ^ 

Other clauses in the charter witnessed to the papal good- 
will ; e.g. Cluny's quinquennial tribute of ten solidi was to be 
paid in order to make clearly intelligible to all, that it pertained 
to the holy see to guard and cherish the monastery.^ Its freedom 
from outside domination * was again assured, and freedom of 
choice at the election of an abbot, though it was added, ' that 
should, what God prevent, an unworthy choice be made, then 
any one whosoever might annul it '. The pope confirmed 
Cluny's possessions, and the privilege of coining money (monetam 
propriam) granted by Rudolf, king of the Franks. No one was 
to take away its serfs or attack its property, Cluny being one of 
those holy places to which reverence was due. Tenths which 
had formerly belonged to its chapels and through the modern 
authority of any bishop had been taken away,^ were restored 
{vobis ex integro restituimus). New chapels built in the neigh- 
bourhood were to diminish nothing from the tenths of Cluny's 
churches,^ and the dues which bishop Berno had granted from 

^ Labbe Concilia, viii. p. 329, clause xxvii., Monachum nisi abbatis sui 
aut permissu aut voluntate ad alterum monasterium commigrantem nullus abbas 
suscipere aut retinere presumat sed ubicumque fuerint abbati suo auctoritate 
canonum revocentur. 

- Migne, 132, p. 1057, Si coenobium aliquod ex voluntate illoruni ad quoruiti 
dispositionem pertinere videtur, in sua ditione ad meliorandum suscipere con- 
senteritis, nostram licentiani ex hoc habeatis. 

3 Ibid., Ad tuendum atque fovendum. 

" Ibid., Liberum ab omni dominatu cuiuscunque regis aut episcopi, sive 
comitis, aut cuiuslibet ex jjropinquis ipsius Willelmi. 

^ Ibid., Per modernarn. quasi auctoritatem sive licentiam a quolibet episcopo 
subtractae sunt. 

^ Ibid., Capellas si aliquae iam factae sunt vet faciendae inibi sunt, ita 
manere cpncedimus ut vestris ecclesiis nihil ex decimis minuatur. 


these churches were assured in perpetuity. Tenths from 
cultivated lands and vineyards could be reserved for hospitality. 
Then followed the anathema on those who broke, and the blessing 
on those who kept, the clauses of the charter. Next year the 
pope, at the request of Odo and Hugh, king of the Lombards,^ 
reconfirmed Cluny's privileges. ' For the highest reward will 
be given to those venerable places which strive to increase 
holiness.' Cluny's possession of Carus Locus, a monastery 
belonging to the jurisdiction of Rome, was confirmed. Any 
one who went against the charter would be anathematised by 
Peter the apostle, and abandoned to the devil and his atrocious 
minions to be burnt in the eternal fire with Judas who betrayed 
the Lord, and sunk with the wicked in the abyss of infernal 

Six years later John's successor, Leo VIL, reaffirmed the 
privileges (938). He did so because of (1) his love for the 
apostles Peter and Paul ; (2) the good repute of the religious 
life at Cluny ; ^ (3) his love for his sons, kings Hugh and Lothair, 
who, as he had heard, cherished the monastery exceedingly. ^ He 
confirmed the privileges granted by John and declared Cluny 
free from all outside domination, as William the Pious had 
decreed. He reinstated Cluny in the possession of vills given by 
king Rudolf but claimed by the church of Lyons and of Macon. 
Leo based his decision on the fact that no person then living 
was old enough to have seen the aforesaid churches invested 
with any of the vills, and that the legal time for proving such 
cases had been spent in wrangling and dispute. All further 
discussion was to cease.* Any one who seized Cluny's posses- 
sions or the property given by the king would be excommuni- 

^ Ibid. p. 1058, Quia supplicavit tua religio et interventio Hugonis glorissimi 
regis, dilecti fiUi nostri. 

- Ibid. p. 1074, Pro religione quae ibidem tenetur. 

^ Ibid., Qui locum multuni fovent. 

* Ibid., Xon est tamen aliquis tain longaevae aetatis, qui unquam i)i pre- 
dictis ecclesiis vestituram de illis villis ullam habere vidisset ; et quia prestitutum 
legale tern pus ad recuperandas huiusmodi querelas pertransiit, omnis repetitio 



cated. AlKwho did good to the abbey would, if they wished to 
amend their lives, be absolved from their sins ; all who did 
harm anathematised. ^ 

Proofs of royal favour were also given. Three times in 931 
Rudolf of Burgundy, king of the Franks, gave land to Cluny and 
confirmed gifts made by others. In the first charter he stated 
that as there was no power except from God, the powerful should 
humble themselves under His hand and be zealous to please 
Him with gifts. He therefore made known to all kings, counts, 
magistrates, and ministers of the kingdom that, at the request 
of his wife and fideles, he gave Cluny a vill and the third of 
a fishery {j)iscina), the middle part, with its serfs and what- 
ever else belonged to it. No king, count, or person of inferior 
rank was to interfere with the gift : ^ at the same time he 
confirmed the gift of Blanuscus,^ with a chapel and its lands, 
and reaffirmed the decree of bishop Berno of Macon over 
tenths (cf. i. 373), which were to be held by Cluny as 
of old, and not taken away by any modern authority. The 
second charter stated that by bending the royal ear to the just 
petitions of the faithful, the royal cult was furthered, and 
, subjects made more zealous in their fidelity. Therefore, at the 
request of his wife and dearest brother, the king gave seven 
manors in three different vills to Cluny, confirmed his former 
gift of the third of a fishery, with the three servants attached 
to it, their children and the manors which they held {quos if si 

^ Ibid. p. 1068. The year before (937) the pope twice confirmed Cluny's 
possession of property. For it was right to give the apostolic defence to those 
places which asked it, and especially to Cluny, subject as it was to the papal 
ius. At Odo's request he confirmed possession of the curtis Escutiola 
with churches, houses, lands, fields, meadows, pasture, woods, thickets, apple 
trees, cisterns, fountains, rivers, fruitful and unfruitful trees, cultivated and 
uncultivated land, serfs, male and female, i.e. everything belonging to the curtis 
as left by count Geoffrey. A curse was pronounced on any one who attacked 
this property. In the same year at Odo's request he confirmed Cluny's possession 
of a vill and everything belonging to it, given by king Rudolf : the wording 
identical to the above. 

2 Bruel, i. 396. 

^ Ibid. Chapels, serfs, vineyards, meadows, waters, woods, mills, cultivated 
and uncultivated land. 


tenent), also the abbey's right to property given by two other 
donors. 1 In the third charter, again at his wife and brother's 
request, he gave the vill Salustriacus (in which he had previously 
given three manors), with vineyards, fields, meadows, woods, 
and the fishery, etc., mentioned above. ^ 

The next year the little society of Cluniac brothers, watched 
over by their gentle father and abbot Odo, remembering that 
ecclesiastical authority warns men in this miserable life and 
earthly pilgrimage to strive for eternal joys, and to flee from 
the waves of the world to the shore of eternal tranquillity, and 
afraid that they should be found unfruitful trees, built a chapel 
at Salustriacus, which they asked Berno, bishop of Macon, to 
consecrate, and in endowment {pro dote) to grant them tenths. 
He, not seeking his own, with the consent of his canons, granted 
them all the tenths from the land given by the king in Salus- 
triacus and the country around, tenths which formerly belonged 
to St. Peter's Massiacus, half of the tenths from Bulon, and 
other tenths from Salustriacus and Bulon which at that time 
went to St. Julian's Rocca, to which the new chapel was 
subject. No superfluous dues were to be asked from the monks, 
and at the synodal season the priest was to pay 2 denarii in 
eulogiae and 12 denarii in paratae. The bishop begged his suc- 
cessors to keep this agreement (932-33).^ In 939 king Louis, 
at the request of Hugh the Black, son of the duke of Burgundy, 
also confirmed Cluny's possession of Salustriacus, two other 
places (loci), and a third of the fishery before mentioned. At 
the same time he confirmed the abbey's privileges. Cluny was 
to remain as duke William decreed, liber et ahsolutus, subject 
to the Roman see ad luendum non ad dominandum : the 

^ Ibid. i. 397. Three in Salustriacus. 

- Ibid. i. 398. Same preamble as 397. 

^ Ibid. i. 408, Kos jmnnda Clunienslum fratnnn societas cui Odo mith'i 
pater et abbas jne patrocinatur utilitatem monasterii nostri pro posse providentes 
rel utcnmque statnm divini cultus nitentes augere. Capella omni tempore Sancto 
Jiiliano subjecta habcatur : ubsequio non requirente superfluo ababbate vel catervis 
pretuxati cenobii. 


monks to choose their own abbot : tenths to be as bishop Berno 

From Hugh, king of the Lombards, and his son liOthair 
Cluny received the curtes Savigneux and Amberieu, with 
chapels, land, vineyards, fields, meadows, pasture, woods, waters, 
mountains, valleys, hills, plains, houses, and serfs, the king 
retaining under his own power a fisher and five other servants 
(servientes). The gift was made because it was certain that for 
temporal gifts to venerable places dedicated to God an eternal 
reward would be gained. Any one disputing the gift would be 
condemned by God for sacrilege, and compelled to pay 100 pounds 
of the best gold, half to the treasury, half to the abbot (934). ^ 

Several gifts were made to Cluny by bishops. As early as 
929 Berno, bishop of Macon, perceiving that the love of the 
laity grew cold, and remembering it was necessary to provide 
for his spiritual sons wherever they were, proclaimed to all 
bishops, archdeacons, and chiefs of the church that he wished to 
solace Cluny, bound to him in special friendship.^ There had 
been controversy about four of Cluny's churches in the time of 
his predecessor. As it was only right that the monks should 
enjoy tranquillity, the bishop and his congregation granted 
them all that his predecessors and the archdeacons had received 
from the four churches, with their chapels, excepting synodal 
eulogiae el paratae.^ As long as the monks celebrated divine 
service there, they were to hold the churches and their tenths, 
or give them away if they wished. The bishop decreed this 
pro signo societatis that, alive and dead, he and the monks 
might share in one another's good deeds. He wished all in the 
present and the future to remember that by ancient custom his 

^ Ibid. i. 499. The preamble is the same as i. 285. 

^ Ibid. i. 417. Confirmed 937 by Leo VII. at the request of the king and 
his son. The anathema was called down on any one who went against the gift 
(Migne, 132, p. 1082). 

^ Ibid. i. 373, In quantum possutnus solaciari. 

* Eulogia : small gift. Paratae : expenses of receiving bishops and arch- 
deacons when visiting rural churches (Ducange). 


see had the right to do what it would with tenths. ^ If any of 
his successors were tempted to go against his decree, let them 
remember the text, ' Cursed be he who removeth his neighbour's 
boundary '. The same bishop granted Cluny tenths when con- 
secrating the chapel at Salustriacus (p. 51). In 938 another 
bishop of Macon, Maimbod, gave Cluny a charter almost identical 
with the above (373) to which he had been a signatory. An 
eruption of pagans it seemed, and the violence of evil men had 
almost destroyed the churches which bishop Berno had placed 
under Cluny. ^ It therefore seemed only right to reduce their 
synodal returns : hence one which had paid 8 was to pay only 
4 denarii, and in eulogiae 5 denarii. One parish over which 
the monks had been much distressed was restored to them in 
its entirety, and from four churches, as granted by bishop 
Berno, synodal eAtlogiae et paratae remitted. Three years later 
Maimbod, with the wife of another man, gave a vineyard, 
manor, and curtilus to Cluny. ^ 

The bishop of Autun confirmed Cluny's possession of a 
little chapel belonging to a church in his diocese. His pre- 
decessor had given it to a priest for life, and endowed it with 
a little land. On his death certain evil men seized it, claiming 
it as the bishop's heirs.* The priest therefore decided to give it 
to Cluny, that fitting service should be rendered to God and the 
legal dues restored to his church. The monks could do what 
they wished with it, as long as they paid the parent church 
12 denarii silver annually. The bishop renounced his episcopal 
dues from it in favour of the monks. 

From laymen in these early years there were a few gifts of 
churches, e.g. a certain Leotbald and his wife gave four churches, 

^ Ibid., Xnrerint lecturi . , . quod nostra sedes ex antiqua consuetudine pro 
lege teneat, id id de nostris decitnis facere liceat. 

- Ibid. i. 484, Cum ipsns ecclesias irruptio paganornni, quin etiam violentia 
quorumdam prnvonim, mnxima ex parte anuuUasxet visum vohis est . . . sinodali 
reditu le.vigare. 

■' Ibid. i. olU. 

•* Ibid. i. 474, I iiiuste et cum fas enndem quasi sucressores invaseraiit. 


a vill, its serfs, and other two vills with churches and serfs,^ to be 
held by the donors for hfe, and on their death to revert to Cluny 
(927). Two years later they gave the whole entirely and uncon- 
ditionally to Cluny. 2 A gift of a church ^ and of a chapel, St. 
Victor's, are also recorded.* The chapel was to pay no tenths nor 
dues to the secular power, for it was only right that the people's 
offerings should go to the monks. If any one went against the 
charter or asked, for the chapel, a little gift from the brothers, or 
seized its lands, at the day of judgement God, His holy apostles, 
and St. Victor, would withstand and confound him. Three deeds 
of sale are mentioned. A man, hoping to be snatched from the 
pains of hell, for 36 solidi paid by the monks gave the fourth 
of a church to Cluny.^ Another man, remembering that in this 
fragile body all should prepare for the future, since no man 
knoweth the hour of his death, gave three churches with all 
belonging to them, i.e. tenths, cultivated and uncultivated land, 
meadows, plains, waters, woods, vineyards. He received 50 solidi 
from the monks. ^ In exchange for the vill Amberieu and its 
church, a man and his wife willed a vill, its churches and serfs, 
to Cluny. They were to hold both properties for life, paying 
the monks 6 solidi annually. On their death all reverted to 
Cluny.'' A man and his brother gave Cluny a curtikis, field, half 
another field, and the customs of a wood, for having burnt down 
a church.^ 

Of the charters, that of John XL (931) is of course the most 
important as giving free scope to Cluny' s reforming activity, to 
the consideration of which we now turn.^ 

1 Ibid. i. 283. 2 ibid. i. 387. 

3 Ibid. i. 471. Any one who disputed the charter was to pay a fine of three 
pounds gold, de auro libras Hi. 

* Ibid. i. 378, Aliquod munnsculum pro ipsa capella expostulaveril. 

^ Ibid. i. 239. Accipio aliquod pretium 36 solidos. 

^ Ibid. i. 486, Pro ipsa scriptione accepimus 50 solidos. Aymardus is 
mentioned as abbot (anno 938). 

' Ibid. i. 509. « Ibid. i. 310. 

' Among the charters are a few which record marriage settlements. One 
man, for his love and goodwill toward her, gave his beloved wife a chapel in 


Macon with all belonging to it and a vineyard, with all which she was to do 
as she willed. If the husband or his heirs later disputed the gift they were to 
pay a fine of three ounces gold (i. 2o4). Another husband, remembering that 
a man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife and that those 
whom God joined are not to be put asunder, gave to his beloved and amiah)le 
spouse, whom by the will of God and of his parents he had married, a vineyard 
and a manor with the trees and all else belonging to it — in esponcalicio as the 
Roman law laid down {comnienwral). She could hold, sell, or exchange the 
property. If he took back his gift he was to pay a fine (i. 686). Another man 
gave in dower to his sweetest and most amiable wife a third of all he possessed 
or would possess, to have, hold, sell, or exchange. If he or any one else 
disputed the gift they were to ]>ay a pound gold to the fisc (i. 687). Several 
other charters record deeds of gift or sale by women, e.g. Eva, a noble woman, 
sold the monks a vineyaid given her in dower by her husband for two measures 
of wine and of wheat (i. 315). Another woman, for the love and goodwill 
she bore her son, gave him and his wife a manor with all belonging to it, 
vineyards, fields, meadows, woods, waters, mills, and adjacent to the manor 
three fields and four vineyards. While she lived she was to hold half of one 
vineyard and its serfs (i. 231). The same or another Eva, remembering that 
the divine mercy in pity for human frailty allows each of the faithful to buy 
an eternal kingdom by giving from what God gave them, and mindful of the 
precept to lay up treasure in heaven, gave St. Peter in vestitura property which 
came to her in hereditary right, i.e. her part of two vills (as apart from what 
belonged to her brothers and sisters) ; also a manor. She was to hold all for 
life, and on her death the whole reverted to Cluny (i. 141). An Eva again, 
who at the end of her life was fearful at the enormity of her sins, wishing to 
buy an eternal reward with earthly things and make friends with the mammon 
of unrighteousness, gave a manor and serfs to Cluny ; also the third of a 
meadow and of a field {condatnina, i. 153). A few other charters record gifts 
by women. 



The time and the man go together. Great as Odo was, he could 
not have accomplished the work that he did had the times not 
been ripe. In the beginning of the tenth century a spirit of revolt 
at the coarse materialism of the day passed over society. As 
the best way to counteract that materialism, earnest men turned 
to the encouragement of monastic life. New monasteries were 
founded, and those that had fallen into disrepute were reformed. 

But if the harvest was ready, the labourers were few, and a 
most important element in the reform was the personal. With- 
out Odo, who towers like a giant head and shoulders above his 
contemporaries, Cluny's later eminence could hardly have been 
possible. This personal element had its disadvantages as well 
as its advantages. Extraordinary worker and indefatigable 
traveller as Odo was, he could not be everywhere, and often 
after he had reformed a monastery its connection with Cluny 
was allowed to drop. But as the reform in turn went forth from 
the new centre, the end after all was attained : Odo sowed the 
seed and cared not who reaped the harvest. Like the Psalmist 
he might have exclaimed, ' Show Thy servants their work, and 
their children Thy glory.' Because of his great zeal, and his 
indefatigable energy in answering any call however distant, it 
was impossible to build up a society looking to Cluny as head. 
That was to come later, when his successors had more time for 

Characteristic of the reform was the fact that Benedict of 
Aniane's modification of the rule having been adopted, the 
Cluniacs showed no desire to heighten its standard of asceticism. 


As the papal charter of 931 shows, Odo looked towards the reform 
of monasticism as a whole, and the ideal he set before him was 
the establishment of uniformity, similarity, and obedience in all 
monasteries, rather than the encouragement of isolated instances 
of individual perfection. Very wisely, considering the state of 
the times, he worked to uphold one standard, and that a standard 
attainable by the many. 

As abbot of Cluny, the history of Odo's life is the history 
of the reform. The first monastery to come under his direction 
was Romainmoutier, which Adelheid, duchess of Burgundy, 
placed under him and his monks in order that they might 
transform it into a priory.^ She exhorted the monks of Romain- 
moutier to follow the discipline and customs of Cluny. ^ Both 
monasteries were to be held and ruled by one abbot, and neither 
community to elect an abbot without the consent of the other,^ 
nor were the monks of Romainmoutier to substitute another for 
him apppinted. For it would be highly unjust if they who had 
been called to new life by the monks of Cluny should divide the 
fellowship of that monastery.* Nevertheless the regulation of 
St. Benedict held, i.e. if the minority of either congregation was 
moved by saner counsel and wished to choose a better person, 
the others (according to the rule) were to consent.^ It was in 
the power of the abbot to transfer monks from the one monastery 
to the other as the common advantage, or indeed the state of 
supplies, demanded.^ Like Cluny, Romainmoutier was to be 

^ Bruel, i. 379, In 'prioreni sludeani reformare statuni. 

^ Ibid., Modum conversationis . . . de Cluniaco transjertur ita conservent, 
nl eundem modum in viclu et vestitu, in obstiventia, in 'psalmodia, in silentio, in 
hosjntalitate, in vivtua dilectione et snbiectione atqiie bona obedientio, nvUatenus 

^ Semper tamen velui una congregalio . . . sub una abbote . . . no)i illis ant 
islis liceat sine cotnmuni consensii abbatem sibi prejicere. 

* Quoniam valde iniustuvi esset, si illi qui forte velut filii Bomanis monaster io 
succreverinf, socialitntem Clun. qui velut patres locum resuscitant, aliquando 

^ iSi rel illius vel istius congregation is minima pars saniori consilio meliorein 
personam eligerc voluerit. 

^ Pro utilitate transmit fa ndi.'^, sire eliam de sub-'^idiis quae forte unl loco 
plusquam alter i habundaverint. 


under the guardianship of Rome. Its liberties were assured 
and its freedom from outside control, the aid of the apostles 
and Rome called on, and the curse pronounced in clauses identical 
to those of Cluny's charter of foundation. Hugh the Black, like 
his mother, favoured Cluny, and intervened for Odo at the court 
of Conrad of Upper Burgundy. In 939 he petitioned Louis of 
Gaul to confirm the Cluniac charters. ^ 

In Auvergne, Odo's opportunity came through the goodwill 
of the old friend who had ordained him, bishop Turpio of Limoges. 
Through the influence of the bishop and his brother Aimo,^ 
Odo became abbot of Aurillac (928), a monastery which had sunk 
low under its last two abbots, men of infamous lives, but safe- 
guarded by the papal protection and by the privilege of immunity 
from outside interference which John XL had granted the 
monastery. This immunity the bishop and his brother over- 
rode, and Odo as new abbot carried through the reform. He 
set over the abbey a co-abbot, Arnulf, under whom Aurillac 
turned from its evil ways and became a distinguished centre of 
reform. This success at Aurillac encouraged Aimo ^ to place 
Tulle under Odo's direction. In doing this he overrode the 
claims of another monastery, St. Savin's in Poitiers, under whose 
jurisdiction Tulle had been placed. This did not prevent Rudolf 
of Burgundy from declaring Tulle free from all previous jurisdic- 
tion, and Odo its abbot. Having inaugurated the reform, Odo 
appointed as co- abbot Adacius,* under whom the monastery 
flourished exceedingly. 

It was also owing to bishop Turpio and his brother that two 
monasteries in Limoges,^ St. Martial's and St. Augustine's, were 
reformed. Both were put under the direction of Martin, abbot 
of St. Cyprian's, Poitiers, a new monastery consecrated (936) 

1 Ibid. i. 499. 

^ Mabillon, Vetera Analecta, ii. 349, Odo . . . rogaiiis a Turpione et 
Aimone Tutelense abbate. ^ Sackur, i, pp. 78, 79. 

^ Vita Joanne, ii. 12, Archembaldus . . . Adalasius viri nempe optima- 
tis.simi et multorum monachorum patres sunt effect i. 

^ Sackur, i. 81 et seq. 


by archbishop Teotolo of Tours. As Teotolo was the close 
friend of Odo, Martin may have been in sympathy with the 
Cluniac movement. He himself reformed two monasteries as 
distant as St.-Jean-d'Angely in Aquitaine and Jmnieges in 
Normandy. Odo's next work was in Italy. Later in Gaul he 
reformed St. Peter le Vif,^ Sens (937), a monastery whose lands 
and buildings had been laid waste by the Huns. A monk of 
Fleury was appointed abbot, but squandered the revenues and let 
the monastic lands lie waste. The monks who had no means 
of subsistence rapidly dwindled in numbers until only fifteen 
remained. Of these finally twelve were poisoned in one night, 
and the monastery left desolate. For a time the archbishop of 
Sens used the deserted buildings as a lodge for his hunting dogs. 
Years passed before they were restored, and St. Peter's repeopled 
by monks from Fleury and Cluny. The last Frankish monastery 
to come under Odo was St. Julian's, Tours. St. Julian's had been 
devastated by the Northmen. For almost a hundred years 
monastic life there had ceased. Then archbishop Teotolo 
rebuilt the abbey (937), which he and his sister richly endowed. 
Hugh the Great also gave it land. When the restoration was 
complete, Odo was asked to inaugurate the reform. Soon St- 
Julian's became a well-known centre to which distinguished 
clerks and laymen flocked. ^ 

In the meantime the abbots of Aurillac and Tulle extended 
Odo's work. In 936 Raymond Pontius of Toulouse, nephew of 
the founder of Cluny, built the monastery of Chanteuge,^ which 
he wished to place under Odo. The latter, at that time occupied 
in Italy, appointed Arnulf of Aurillac abbot. Freedom from 
outside jurisdiction, and after Arnulf 's death freedom in electing 
an abbot, was assured to the monks. The count and his wife 
also founded St. Pontius', Narbonne, and put it under Arnulf 
and his monks, one of whom was made abbot. Arnulf's success 
there won the approval of the bishop of the diocese who begged 
him to reform St. Chafl[re du Monastier, from which religious 
1 Ibid. i. 02. -• Ibid. ^ Baluze, ii. lo. 


life had quite disappeared. A monk of Aurillac was appointed 
abbot, who not only restored the abbey's reputation, but from 
it reformed Sainte Enimie's.^ Another disciple of Arnulf's was 
made abbot of St. Allyre's in Clermont, which Raymond Pontius 
and the nobles of Auvergne had begged Arnulf to reform. 

Nor was Tulle behind as a reforming centre. Its abbot, 
Adacius, reformed the ruined Sarlat, restored and given to him 
by Bernard of Perigueux and his wife Gersindis. Declared free 
from outside authority the monastery was placed under the 
protection of the king. At the election of an abbot the advice 
of Odo or his successors was to be obtained.^ So worthily did 
Adacius rule at Sarlat that next year Bernard restored and 
gave him St. Sorus', Genouillac.^ He also reformed Lezat in 
Toulouse (944). 

In the last years of his life Odo was mainly occupied with the 
reform in Italy, where the state of religious life was worse even 
than in Gaul. The land had not recovered from the invasions 
of the Saracens and Huns. The whole church from the papacy 
downwards was secularised. Country appointments were in the 
hands of the nobles, who presented them to their favourites ; 
the sale of bishoprics and spiritual offices was quite common ; 
children were raised to the highest offices in the church. In the 
upper ranks of the clergy senseless luxury ruled, in the lower the 
priests shared the rude joys of the people. Even the cathedral 
clergy were not ashamed openly to parade their wives and 

In the regular church conditions were just as bad ; monastic 
lands lay waste and the monasteries deserted. The monks, 
unable to withstand the depredations of the barbarians, had 
fled from their communities. Only in isolated groups had a 
few banded together and attempted to live by the rule. Mean- 
while the lands of the abbeys were an easy prey to any free- 
booting noble who cared to annex them.^ With the advance of 

1 Sackur, i. 87. ^ Mabillon, Ann. Ben. iii. 405. ^ Ibid. iii. 419. 

* Dresdner, Kultur n . Sittengeschichte der ital. Geistlichkeit in X . XI. (1890). 


the tenth century there seemed some hope of amelioration, one 
or two zealous abbots striving to win back their old possessions. 
They were too few in numbers to succeed, and it was evident 
that no headway could be made without some strong external 
support. This was to come from the temporal power, from 
Alberic of Rome himself, who but a few years before had been 
an unscrupulous oppressor of the monks. ' He was too terrible,' 
wrote a chronicler of the century, ' and cruelly pressed his yoke 
on the Romans and the holy see. He took over all the monas- 
teries and their property, and with them rewarded his retainers.' ^ 
But after he had driven his stepfather from Rome, and had begun 
to find his position more secure, Alberic's policy changed. From 
being a most dangerous oppressor of the monks he became their 
ardent supporter. He had learnt that by enriching his supporters 
too freely with monastic possessions, he might make them a 
menace to his own power. At least so it appears to later 
historians, though the chronicler of the day is more charitable. 
' Accordingly,' he wrote, ' our merciful Alberic struck with the 
fear of the Lord . . . began in all holy places with ardent 
mind to serve the servants of God, and to give rich support to 
the monasteries.' Political motives rather than this sudden 
conversion better explain Alberic's change of policy, which 
fortunately had begun some time before Odo's first visit to 
Rome (936). Whether or not Odo believed in the genuineness 
of Alberic's piety, he, seeing his opportunity, was quick to seize 
it. In the remaining six years of life, with the support of the 
secular power, he began the reform in central Italy. Under 
his direction several of the Roman monasteries were rebuilt. 
Perhaps at Alberic's suggestion, perhaps at the pope's, he first 
restored St. Paul's outside the walls,^ which became his head- 
quarters in Rome, and over which he placed his disciple Baldwin. 

^ Benedicti Chron. iii, cap. 32. 

- Ibid. cap. 33. Cf. Vita Joanne, i. 27, Dum Odo Romam pergeret ut 
monasterium intra ecclesiam beatissimi Pavli apostoli vt olim fuerat, reaedificaret 
cogente domno papa et universis ordinibus sacrae aedis. Cf. ibid. ii. 22, Ibi 
denique praeposuit discipulum suiun abbatem Balduinum. 


Next Alberic transformed the palace on the Aventine in which 
he had been born into the monastery of St. Mary's,^ where 
Hildebrand was said to have been educated. The monasteries 
of St. Lawrence and St. Agnes, both outside the walls, were 
then restored and reformed. Greater difficulty was experienced 
with St. Andrew's on the Clivus Scaurus ^ where a few monks 
remained. As they resisted the reform they were expelled, and 
other monks settled. Alberic restored the possessions of the 
monastery which had been appropriated by lay lords. Great 
hopes were entertained of this abbey which pope Leo strengthened 
with fortifications and towers. Under its abbot Alberic placed 
St. Sylvester's and St. Stephen's. 

Little more is known about the other monasteries restored 
by Alberic in Rome. Probably wherever there was reform it 
followed the Cluniac lines, for Alberic appointed Odo director 
of the collective monasteries in Rome and its neighbourhood.^ 
He then looked to Monte Cassino, mother of Western monasti- 
cism, the condition of which could not have been more piteous. 
During the barbarian invasions, the monks, unable to protect 
themselves, had accepted the invitation of the prince of Capua 
to settle near his capital. The few who remained at Monte 
Cassino let the monastic lands lie waste, and led a life that was 
far from edifying. To restore Monte Cassino to prosperity would 
have required more time and labour than Odo was able to spare ; 
he could only improve its condition,* and appoint his disciple 
Baldwin abbot. The complete reform of the abbey came later. 
In the same neighbourhood Subiaco was in a similarly evil plight, 
its lands and buildings having been devastated by the Saracens.^ 
In 936 the buildings were restored by Alberic, who renewed its 

1 Destr. Farf. cap. 7. ^ Cf. Vita Joanne, ii. 9. 

'■^ Destr. Farf. cap. 7 ; Mon. Germ. xi. p. 536, Ut de Gallia faceret venire 
Oddonem sanctum abbatem qui tunc temporis Cluniacum gubernabat monasterium 
et eum archimandritam constituit super cuncta monasteria Romae adiacentia. 

* Ibid., Cassinense monasterium sub illius magisterio ad normam regularis 
ordinis reductum est. 

5 Sackur, i. 103. 


charters, which had been burnt. The pope confirmed them. 
Another historic monastery, Farfa, which had fallen on evil 
times, felt Odo's influence. The monks had been driven away 
by the Saracens, and the lands left desolate. After some time 
several of the monks returned, but only to appropriate the 
abbey's remaining property. They murdered their abbot, 
squandered the monastic revenues, and lived on the principle, 
' Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.' Alberic ended 
this scandal. According to one account he put Farfa under the 
authority of St. Andrew's on the Clivus Scaurus, according to 
another Odo himself came down on the monastery, and caused 
the terrified monks to flee.^ For a time a better state of things 
prevailed, but not for long. 

A more successful reform was that of St. Elias', Nepi, given 
by Alberic. 2 Here Odo appointed Theodorardus, one of his 
disciples, abbot. Theodorardus had a hard fight to keep his 
monks from eating meat. He had come well .supplied with 
fish, which his monks soon finished, and as there was no river 
or lake near, he had to send round the country for more, ' till 
the very horses which Odo had given him were worn out by 
rushing hither and thither '. Finally, Odo's opportune arrival 
miraculously caused a stream to flow from a mountain near, 
and fish were kept therein.^ 

Odo's influence seems to have extended as far south as 
Naples and Salerno, where he may personally have supervised 
the reform.* 

In Benevento, where Alberic's reforming zeal was also active, 
the reform probably followed the lines already laid down by 
Odo. In the North a new sphere of activity was opened to the 

^ Destr. Farf. cap. 7. 

^ Vita Joanne, iii. 7, Concessit nobis Alhericus. ^ Ibid. 

' Ibid., Praefatio. .John dedicates his life of Odo to the monks of Salerno 
in a prologue which suggests that they knew Odo. He may have been prior 
there. In the story of Odo's infant nephew he reminds the brothers that it 
was told by a pilgrim who stopped at our monastery when going to Jerusalem 
the previous year. 


Cluniacs through the reform of St. Peter's, Ciel d' Oro, Pavia/ 
entrusted to Odo by Hugh of Lombardy. 

Odo's work in Italy, aided mainly by the upper classes, 
and almost entirely dependent on Alberic's support, seems to 
have awakened in the lower classes little or no enthusiasm. 
That enthusiasm came after, through the reform of the Italian 
hermits. Yet Odo's work is striking, for he was already fifty- 
six years old when he began the reform in Rome. Four times in 
the remaining six years of his life he went that difficult journey. 

A group of monasteries in Upper Lorraine, though neither 
directly nor indirectly reformed by the Cluniacs, seem to have 
felt their influence. 

In Upper Lorraine the bishops had retained greater influence 
and power than in Gaul. The wealth of the church was in their 
hands, and in many cases the monastic endowments also. Their 
influence, however, made for political and social rather than 
spiritual success. The majority of them were too much occupied 
in worldly affairs to welcome a reawakening of spiritual life or a 
monastic revival, which might bring with it a recovery of monastic 
endowments. In that borderland, too, the disturbed years which 
followed the break-up of the empire were not favourable for 
religious revival. But at last the unsettled state of the times 
caused men's minds to turn with longing to some ' more abiding 
city '. A wave of religious fervour passed over the land, stirring 
up in particular the lower clergy who in the dioceses of Toul, 
Metz, and Verdun agitated whole-heartedly for reform, only to 
beat themselves in vain against the apathy of the higher clergy 
and bishops. In despair, therefore, many laymen and priests 
withdrew themselves from the world, some to seek abnegation 
of self in solitude, others to work out their soul's salvation in the 
monastic communities of more favoured lands. The most ardent, 

1 Cf. ibid. i. 4. It was at Pavia that John was instructed in the regular 
discipline. Odo first met him in Rome two years before his death, snatched 
him from earthly affections, and caught him in his net. He accompanied Odo 
to Pavia, where the latter was detained by king Hugh, and therefore entrusted 
John to the keeping and teaching of a certain Hildebrand. 


whose dream it was to found a monastery in their homeland, 
tried hard to persuade Adalbero, bishop of Metz, to grant them 
a site on which to build. They asked in vain, and at last in 
despair resolved to set out for Italy. It was then represented 
to Adalbero that the scandal would be great if he let the best 
spirits of the diocese depart. He then reluctantly gave them 

Gorze, an old and famous monastery, founded by Chrode- 
gang, had degenerated, and then been destroyed by the Huns 
(919). It was restored, and monks entered it (933). For the 
first three years they suffered extreme privation, for though the 
bishop held supreme authority over the monastery he did not 
trouble to provide for the maintenance of the monks. Having 
reached starvation point they decided to leave, when they were 
saved by St. Gorgonius, their patron saint, who appeared to the 
bishop and commanded him to relieve their necessities. ' Thank 
the saint, -not me,' the bishop replied in exaspei*ated honesty 
to their professions of gratitude, ' for not of my own will but 
of his have I acted.' ^ Henceforth, along with its spiritual 
renown, the material prosperity of Gorze increased. Monks 
streamed to it from Greece, England, Burgundy, Metz, Toul, and 
Verdun. It was even said that no monk knew the true monastic 
life unless he had passed some time ' at the beehive ' of Gorze. ^ 

This movement arose in absolute independence of the Cluniac, 
and unlike it was a popular movement forced on those above 
from those below. Of the leaders who settled at Gorze not one 
was of good family. Most were of peasant birth, and only one 
a man of any education. ^ But all were inspired by a frenzy of 
asceticism in striking contrast to the Cluniac moderation. As 
time went on this extremist phase became modified, and though 

• Boll. AA.SS. Sept. III. p. lUli. Mirac S. Oorgonii, cap. 7. 

- Vila J oh. (lorz. cap. 16. 

•' Eiiu)ld, archdeacon of Toul, was rich, and distinguished for liis secular 
and spiritual learning. But he fled from the world, and gave up all his possessions 
in order to live a life of penance in a small cell near the cathedral. From there 
he went to Gorze. 


the movement was always marked by greater asceticism than 
the Cluniac, in several points the latter's example was followed ; ^ 
e.g. exceeding fasting was discouraged, and the same fast days 
adopted as at Cluny ; in the recitation of the psalter, in the 
reading during meals, and in the division of vigils and prayers, 
the Cluniac custom was followed. The extreme submission of 
the monks to the abbot recalled the Cluniac tradition, as also 
the custom that the monks' boots should be cleaned on the 
Saturday evening. ^ 

Though Gorze never reached Cluny's importance, it was the 
centre of a not inconsiderable reform. This was largely owing 
to Adalbero of Metz, who, from being a lukewarm supporter of the 
movement, awoke to the consciousness that it was better to swim 
with the tide than be submerged by it. In 941 he gave the monks 
the monastery of St. Arnulf's, Metz, which had fallen to secular 
canons. The latter were expelled and were replaced by monks, 
with Aribert of Gorze at their head.^ More important, as extend- 
ing Gorze's influence to another diocese, was the reform of the 
ill-famed Senones in the diocese of Toul (938), a reform carried 
through by bishop Adalbero, Gauzlin of Toul, and the monks 
of Gorze."* A second monastery reformed in Toul was Moyen- 
moutier, given to the monks by duke Frederick of Lorraine, 
who was won over to the movement by Aribert. Three monks 
of Gorze went there.^ One became abbot, and from Moyen- 
moutier reformed Saint-Die, which he placed under one of his 
monks.^ The latter soon fell into evil ways and squandered 
the monastic revenues to such an extent that duke Frederick 
expelled him and his monks, and replaced them by secular canons. 

In the diocese of Liege, owing to the enthusiasm of bishop 

1 Hauck, Kirchengeschichte, iii. 357, unlike Sackur, thinks that neither of 
these points was adopted from Cluny. He maintains, what seems highly im- 
probable, that the fame of Cluny was unicnown to Gorze; cf. Sackur, i. p. 160. 

■^ Some of the monks attributed this rather to an old custom of Gorze 
fallen into disuse. 

3 Vita Joh. Gorz. cap. 67. ^ Sackur, i. p. 166. 

5 Vita Joh. Gorz. cap. 70. ® Sackur, i. p. 168. 


Richer, the reform met its greatest success. He, with the help 
of the monks of Gorze, restored St. Peter's, Liege,^ and Stablo 
Malmedy.2 The former destroyed by the Normans, the latter 
devastated by the Danes, had passed to lay abbots. Under 
a former monk of Gorze, Stablo Malmedy arose more magnificent 
than before, a magnificence for which it paid dear. Its prosperity 
aroused the cupidity of the lay lords of the district by whom 
it was again despoiled. 

More important was the foundation of Gembloux by the 
warrior Wigert. Having provided for the building of the 
monastery he retired to Gorze, where he took the habit, and there 
spent the rest of his life. Only once did he leave Gorze to inspect 
the new monastery, and appoint as its abbot his friend Erluin, 
a canon. ^ The latter met with some success in reforming St. 
Vincent's, Soigniers,* but with failure at Lobbes, which for two 
years he struggled to reform. After that time, blinded by the 
monks, and with his tongue pulled out, he returned to Gembloux.^ 

^ Pertz, Mori. Germ. Script, iv. p. 63. 

^ Sackur, i. p. 169. 

^ Man. Germ, xiii., Vita Wicberti, cap. x. 

* Sackur, i. p. 171. 

^ Gesta abb. Gemblac. cap. 15. 



In contrast to the even tenor of his days at Baume, Odo's 
life during the fifteen years that he was abbot of Cluny was 
characterised by a varied activity. Not only was he a zealous 
reformer in France and Italy, but he is twice found working in 
the interests of peace between Hugh of liOmbardy and Alberic 
his stepson.^ Hugh had received the Lombard crown in 926, 
and through his marriage with Marozia was master of Rome. 
This led to discord with his stepson Alberic, who in 932 rose 
against his stepfather and drove him from Rome. Hugh 
retaliated by besieging the city, and laying waste the surrounding 
district. Intermittent warfare continued till both combatants 
were exhausted, when Odo was summoned to Rome by the pope 
to arrange terms of peace (c. 939).^ He was well fitted for the 
part of intermediary, being on friendly terms with both sides. 
For long he had known Hugh, who had several times helped 
to protect Cluny 's lands, in 932 had joined his name to Odo's 
in petitioning the pope to ratify Cluny's charters, and in 934 had 

^ Flodoardi Chron. iii. p. 389, anno 942, Domnus Odo abbas pro pace 
agenda inter Hugonem regem Italiae et Albricum Romanum patricium apud 
eundem regent laborabat. Cf. Vita Joanne, ii. 9, Tempore praeterito dum Bomuleam 
urbetn ob inimicitiam Alberici iam fati principis praedictus Hugo rex obsideret, 
coepit ille intra extraque discurrere ut pacis concordiaeque monita urbem tueri a 
tanta obsidione. John probably wrote in 943. 

2 Ibid. ii. 7, Sub idem tempus Italiam missi suynus a Leone summo pontifice 
ut pacis legatione fungerem,ur inter Hugonem Longobardum regem et Albericum 
Romanae urbis principem. John states that he first knew Odo two years before 
the latter's death, 941 or 942. Leo VII. died 939. Cf. Vita Leonis Bibl Clun. 
p. 61, Odonem vocavit Romam ut inter Hugonem regem Italiae qui Rom am 
obsidere ceperat et Albericum Romae principem pacis componendae sequestrem 
ageret. Cf. Vita Odonis Nalgodo, cap. 32. 



presented the monastery with Savigneux and Amberieu. In 
936 Odo's relationship with Alberic began through the reform 
of the Roman monasteries, and helped to strengthen the chain 
binding Cluny to Rome, where the popes were but the tools of 
the. prince. Peace was sealed by Hugh's giving his daughter 
Alda in marriage to Alberic. But concord did not long continue, 
and probably in 941 Odo was again in Rome working for peace.^ 
So in manifold activity and growing fame passed the last 
six years of his life. ' Let those who will ', writes John, ' praise 
men who expel demons, make the dead to live, and other men of 
ill-famed works. I, least among all, will praise my Odo, first 
for his virtue of patience, then for his contempt of material 
things, then for the souls he saved, for his restoration of 
monasteries, his clothing, and feeding of the monks, the peace 
he gave to the churches, the concord to kings and princes, his 
guardianship of all ways, his instancy in command, his persever- 
ance in vigils and prayers, his respect for the poof, his correction 
of youth, his honour for old men, his improvement of morals, 
his love of chastity, his encouragement of continency, his pity 
for the wretched, his undefiled observance of the rule, and 
finally for himself, the mirror of all virtues.' His doctrine and 
the fame of his virtues had made him celebrated throughout 
almost the whole of Italy. His journeys to Rome had brought 
his monastery into closer touch with the papal see,^ and made 
him a well-known figure in the holy city, where the ardour with 
which he visited the sacred places became a tradition for later 
abbots of Cluny. In Rome he was jestingly called ' the Digger ', 
for so rooted in him was the practice of the rule, that wherever 

^ Vita Leonis: Venit abbas sayictissimits snaque intercession e hoc obtinuit 
ut Albericus fiWam Hugonis conjugem acciperet. 

- Vita Joanne, ii. 15. A story which to his monks was a proof of liis pro- 
phetic gifts seems rather proof of his influence with the pope. Hearing the 
bishop of Nolana lament that he had twice gone to Rome for the papal 
benediction which his enemies had prevented his receiving, and that he was 
going a third time though he feared it was useless, Odo blessed him and said, 
' Know of a surety that tliis time God will grant thy desire.' In fifteen days 
the' bishop returned triumpliant. 


he was, standing, or walking, or sitting, lie was ever to be seen 
with bent head, and eyes fixed on the ground ^ (Eeg. cap. 7). 

It was in Rome that the hand of Death touched him. ' The 
nearer he felt his vocation draw nigh, the more instantly did he 
afflict his body with fasting, vigils, and prayers, and the other 
works of holy virtue ; and as a true athlete wrenched his aged 
limbs with hard exercise.' As the monk's life was but the 
preparation for death, a long and beautiful account of his death 
is given in the Vita.'^ 

When he felt death approach, the faithful imitator and vicar 
of the apostles, having completed his course of excellent virtue, 
longed for his flesh to be dissolved. He yearned to behold St. 
Martin, whom he had drunk in with his mother's milk, and who 
had separated him as another vase of election from his mother's 
breast. God was merciful. St. Martin, conspicuous in grace 
of form, appeared to him and said, ' Oh, holy soul, beloved of 
God, thy call draweth near, and the last dissolution of thy 
body approach eth. But I, St. Martin, grant thee strength to 
return to thine own land, where thy life will be exchanged for 
death, and Christ reward thee with the blessed society of the 
elect.' His strength returned, and thinking nothing of the hard- 
ships of the journey he started for Tours, arriving in time for 
St. Martin's Day. His coming caused double rejoicing in the city. 

* My imagination ', John continued, ' is unable to conjure 
up his devotion at the festival, nor the prayers and groans he 
poured out to the saint. Nay, the stolidity of my mind and the 
rusticity of my style would but detract from the reality. After 
the first three days of the festival he groaned more and more 
anxiously for his promised reward. On the fourth day fever 
again attacked him, and cold blood flowing from his heart 
consumed his strength. His vow was heard : he grew weaker. 
Joyfully he saw God, he breathed, he sighed, his dying voice 
was heard. " Thou, oh Christ, spare Thy redeemed. Thou, oh 
Martin, receive me." ' 

1 Ibid. ii. 9. ^ Ibid. iii. 12. 


From all parts monks flocked to his bedside. He instructed 
them and consigned them to God with the prayer of faith, 
strengthening them with his benediction, and with pious sobs 
bidding them farewell. On December 4 that blessed spirit, 
refreshed by holy unction, fortified by the life-giving chalice, 
and absolved from corruptible flesh, soared to the sky, where with 
St. Martin his master he presented to his Maker a manifold 
return for the talents entrusted to him, and receiv'ed in Christ 
a gracious guerdon for his pious labours. 

Odo may be called the first of Cluniac writers both in point 
of time and of importance. The list of his works includes (1) an 
abbreviation of the Moralia of St. Gregory the Great, written at 
Tours ;" (2) the Collationes, the most important of his works, 
written at Baume ; (3) the life of Gerald of Aurillac, wTitten at 
Aurillac ; (4) five sermons in prose, two in honour of St. Martin, 
one on St. Peter, another on St. Benedict, a fifth in honour of 
Mary Magdalene, and the Occwpatio sermons in verse ; (5) a 
poem in twelve hexameters on the blessed Eucharist ; (6) twelve 
antiphones in praise of St. Martin, written on his deathbed at 
Tours. Besides these, four musical treatises were once attri- 
buted to him, the Tonarius, Dialogus or Enchiridion, Regulae 
Rythminachia, Regulae Abacus, and a little book on the building 
of organs, of which the authorship is uncertain. It would seem 
that his reputation as a musician was considerable in his own day, 
several of the later chroniclers giving him the patronymic, Odo 
Musicus, and stating that his chief study under Remigius at 
Paris was music and dialectics.^ 

The most important of his books was the Collationes,- which 
he wrote at bishop Turpio's request, and with Berno's permission. 

^ Bibl. Chin. p. 57 et seq. Sigebertus Gerablacensis (twelfth century). 
* Geslonim Andegavensium'' (twelfth century), mag ister scholae et precentor ecdesiae. 
Vincentius Bellovacensis (thirteenth century), Odo musicus ... a Remigw in tnusica 
et dialectica . . . eruditus. ^ Chronicon I'uronense.'' : Odo praecenior erclesiae. 
" Chronici chronicorum' : A Remigio in musica et dialectica eruditus. * Liber de 
Scriptoribus eccles. ' : Erat insig)>is musicus et archicantor ecclesiae Tutonensii^. 

* Migne, 133, p. 518. 

^ / 6T, MICHAEL'o 



After obtaining that permission, he could not bring himself to 
begin to write. At last Berno warned him that in a fortnight's 
time he must return to Limoges, so he set to work in earnest 
and wrote Book I. Winter set in early that year, and with 
such severity that his journey was postponed. Berno, having 
read his manuscript, pointed out that he had raised and left 
unanswered many problems, and advised him to take advantage 
of his enforced leisure to expand and amplify his book. So Book 
II. was written, and the two parts submitted to bishop Turpio, 
who with Berno united in asking for more. The completed 
work naturally suffers from this lack of distinct plan and 
definite scheme, and as a whole is marred by repetitions, brusque 
transitions, and unexpected returns to subjects already treated. 
In the preface to Book III. Odo likened his work to a vase 
already full. Water added to it would only overflow and form 
drops on the surface which would detract from the beauty of the 
form. All the same the third book, which is almost as long as 
the first two put together, contains the most vigorous writing. 

The Collationes, one of the most famous books of its day, was 
inspired by a conversation between bishop Turpio and the young 
monk over the evil condition of the church. It is a Jeremiad 
and a diatribe, in which Odo lamented over and scourged the 
sins of the day. For the time was at hand, and Odo looked to 
the year 1000 as marching towards that end of which the 
Apocalypse speaks. 

He went, not very deeply it is true, into the problem of evil 
in the world and its expiation by suffering. The world was once 
perfect, till God found it turning out evil, and brought punish- 
ment and suffering on men.^ Satan brought moral evil by tearing 
God's word from the heart, putting pride, lechery, and wicked- 
ness in its place. Men brought on themselves a third kind of 
evil through persecution, injustice, and shame. 

1 Ibid. p. 637, iii. 52. Nor can man complain. Cnr Hague asperum creditur 
ut a Deo homo toller et flag ella pro malis, si tanta Dens ab hominibus pertulit mala 
pro bonis? 


God's creation ruined, the race which remained tainted was 
divided into the two great families of Cain and Abel. Odo 
fulminated against the evil race of Cain who gave themselves to 
the work of the devil. It is here that his style is most forcible. 
He may not be able to go deeply into the problem of the origin 
of evil, but he is graphic and telling in depicting its effects. 
Brief and trenchant in Book III. are his scathing aphorisms 
against the rich children of Cain. ' Open all the books of 
antiquity and you will find that the more powerful are always 
the worst.' ^ ' Not nature created the worldly rank of the 
nobility but ambition.' ^ It is the rich who grind the faces of 
the poor ; night and day they pass in feasting, play, drinking, 
dancing ; yet the food with which they gorge themselves, and 
the sumptuous garments in which they adorn themselves, are 
acquired by the sweat of the poor. ' If there is any beauty in 
such things, it is those who make them that should be praised, 
as Boethius says, and not those who use them.' ^^ It is the poor 
who sow the seed, the poor who garner the grain. The many 
toil that the few may live at ease. Great will be the reward 
of the rich in hell. 

Of all Cain's evil children he regarded the unworthy professors 
of religion as the worst, those hypocrites who cover their sins 
under the cloak of religion. He denounced the secular clergy 
of his day, as given over to carnal things, swollen by pride, 
hardened by avarice, eaten up by desire, inflamed by anger, 
torn by discord, ulcerated by envy, and vitiated by luxury. 
Nor did the monk escape, Odo, like Pachomius before him, fore- 
seeing with deep grief the decay and ruin of the monastic order 
— a result which would follow from what he regarded as the 
greatest evil in the monastic life of his day, the holding of private 

^ Ibid. iii. 30, Omnes libros antiquitatum considera, potentiores semper 
intJenies peiores. 

- Ibid., Nobilitatem quippe mundanam non natura, sed ambitio praestitit. 

■' Ibid., Si qua vero pulchritudo in eis est aut suavitas, artifices laudandi 
sunt ul Boetiiis dicit et non hi qui eis . . . utuntur . . . propriam sibi non 
sujjicere produnt. 


property within the monasteries. From this evil arose the occa- 
sion to greed, gluttony, and vice. He brushed aside the monks' 
plea that they were forced to infringe the rule through the 
fault of their abbots, who neglected to provide for the neces- 
sities of the monastery. In that case, Odo pointed out, they were 
only justified in keeping sufficient for their needs, and not for 
the luxuries with which they pampered themselves. Their own 
greed, and not only the abbots' negligence, was at fault. 

He had his message also for the race of righteous Abel — 
the perfect, and the less perfect. He rejoiced over the former, 
who are marred only by small unavoidable sins, who welcome 
tribulations, recognising in them trials to purge them from their 
faults. He warned the less perfect, not to let their love for their 
Creator be weakened by their love for His creatures, nor to be 
too much engrossed by their own and their children's future. 
Berno had objected that there was not enough said for the con- 
solation of the elect in the first two books. In the third Odo 
dwelt on the futility and instability of earthly joys, the nothing- 
ness of beauty, the example of the saints, and the horrors which 
the evildoers in this world will suffer in the next. 

Like the other writers of his age, Odo used the imagery of the 
bestiary : the eagle the symbol of pride ; the mare of lechery ; 
the dragon of violence ; the rich man who preys on the goods 
of others the fish, which, devouring its smaller neighbours, is 
in its own turn swallowed up : so will Satan devour the rich. 
The man who in the difficulties of life lives like the fathers in the 
desert, he likened to the goat feeding among the mountains. If 
the goat falls, he alights on his two horns, and does himself no 
harm. The wise man, when he errs, is saved by the two horns 
of the Old and New Testament. 

An earlier work of Odo's, written when still at Tours, is the 
abbreviation of the Moralia of Gregory the Great,^ a book severe, 
sombre, and dull, though Odo's quaint and florid introduction 
describes it as a garden into which he entered to gather flowers, 

1 Migne, 133, p. 107. 


whose unearthly beauty and wondrous perfume overpowered 
his senses. 

More interesting is the life of Gerald of Aurillac,^ which he was 
asked to write by Aimo, and other monks and priests. Gerald 
had recently died, and the many miracles which had taken place 
at his tomb were arousing popular interest. Men questioned 
whether this man who had lived in the world, who had partaken 
of flesh and wine, could be a saint. Odo too doubted, till he 
went to Tulle to collect the material for his book. There he 
interviewed four men who had known Gerald from childhood, 
a monk, a priest, and two laymen. Questioning each separately 
and all four together, he found that their witness agreed, and 
his doubts were laid at rest. Though Gerald lived in the world, 
he had wished to be a monk, and had only given up his intention 
when dissuaded by the bishop of his diocese ; though he had 
eaten flesh and drunk wine, he had done so in moderation and 
sobriety. His care to keep his body chaste and mind pure was 
in striking contrast to the customs of his contemporaries. The 
simplicity of his garments and of his manner of life w^as a rebuke 
and example to the priest who aped the great. His hospitality 
and charity were a lesson to those who, instead of receiving the 
poor in their homes, were content to distribute alms by the hands 
of strangers. Rich and powerful, he had despised ambition, 
pride, and outward pomp, keeping his mind lowly, simple, and 
humble. Living in the world, he yet in private life cultivated 
the virtues of the monk. Unable to be a monk himself he had 
built Aurillac for the monk. The life is divided into three parts, 
Book I. giving the facts of Gerald's life. Books II. and III. the 
miracles which had taken place at his tomb. The life has also 
come down in another recension, a shorter form probably also 
written by Odo.^ 

Of the sermons, that on St. Benedict ^ is perhaps the most in- 
teresting, as showing Odo's veneration for the founder of his order, 
to him a second Moses. From the hard rock Moses and Benedict 
^ Ibid. p. C)'M). 2 2iihl Clun. p. 138. =« Migne, 133, p. 721. 


had brought forth water, Moses for the earthly needs of his 
people, Benedict for the spiritual needs of the monk. Far 
greater was Benedict's glory than that of a king, if, as Solomon 
said, the glory of a king is in the multitude of his people. What 
king or emperor ever commanded so many legions in so many 
parts of the world and of so many races as Benedict, who led 
the militia of Christ, of both sexes and all ages, sworn volun- 
tarily to God's service. 

In the sermon delivered on the occasion of the third burning 
of St. Martin's basilica ^ — a disaster which had caused the scoffer 
to scoff and to murmur that the saint could not even protect 
the church of which he was guardian — Odo returned to the 
problem of the Collationcs, the place of evil in the divine ordering 
of the world, of which the destruction of the church was an 
instance. He to whom all bowed could naturally have prevented 
the disaster. It was but another proof of his love that he had 
not done so. Caring nothing that his glory would be momentarily 
obscured in the eyes of men, he had permitted the burning of 
his church as a message, a warning, and a chastisement for sin : 
and were not the lives of the canons of Tours such as to provoke 
the saint's wrath ? Odo urged to repentance those who in 
their foolishness and ignorance had reproached the saint, while 
putting before them a work in which all might participate, the 
rebuilding to God's glory and their own merit the basilica which 
they mourned. 

In the sermon on the Magdalen ^ Odo pointed out that as 
by a woman death came into the world, so by a woman the glad 
tidings of the resurrection was first announced. Thus by the 
Magdalen the reproach of the female sex was removed. 

At abbot Baldwin's request Odo ' elucidated and corrected 
with a glossary ' the life of St. Martin written by Postumianus 
and Gallus,^ a task which caused his glory to shine forth. One 
evening, he and a brother, Othegarius, were so engrossed in 
their work that the signal for vespers found them still writing. 
' Ibid. p. 729. 2 Ibid. p. 713. » Vita Joanne, ii. 22 


Hastening to prayer, they forgot the book. It was winter time, 
and that night there was such a storm of rain that the cellars 
were flooded, and the place where the book had been left seethed 
like a torrent. Therefore great was the amazement next day 
when the news spread that, though the margin of the book was 
soaked through, yet the writing was untouched. But to the 
wondering monks the wise father joyfully cried, ' Why do ye 
marvel, oh brothers ? Know ye not that the water feared to touch 
the life of the saint ? ' Then a monk ever quick in speech rejoined, 
' But see, the book is old and moth-eaten, and has so often been 
soaked that it is dirty and faint ! Can our father then persuade 
us that the rain feared to touch a book which in the past has been 
soaked through ? Nay, there is another reason.' The virtuous 
father, knowing that the speaker sought to suggest that the rain 
had feared to touch the book not because it was the life of the 
saint, but because it was his, hastily turned aside the remark to 
the glory of God and St. Martin. 



In Odo is to be found a man who made real the teaching of 
Christ. ' He was ', wrote John, ' like a four-cornered stone, divine, 
human, generous and filled with love.' Most beautiful was the 
relation between him and his monks. ' How can I, unworthy 
one, tell fittingly of him ? Verily, when we could not otherwise 
contain our souls, we kissed his garments in secret. But that 
was not surprising in us who were ever with him. For even 
strangers who entered our church to pray, immediately hurried 
to lift and kiss the hem of his mantle. And when with hasty 
step he would have escaped, they followed him as if they were 
persecutors.' ^ 

Angel messengers watched over him, as Angelus the priest 
told and affirmed on oath to abbot Baldwin and his monks. 
One night at St. Paul's, when Odo, wearied after nightly Lauds 
and his private prayers, fell asleep, the priest saw a venerable 
white-haired old man cover him with a woollen garment. Taking 
him for Feraldus, deacon of the monastery, Angelus was indig- 
nant at his presumption in daring to act thus at one of the 
' incompetent hours '. Next day, when his anger had cooled, 
he questioned Feraldus, who swore it was not he. Then to all 
it was clear that an angel messenger had watched over the 

Other stories showed that the divine grace was ever watching 

over him. Two priests who had gone with him to pray at 

Monte Gargano, on their return affirmed on oath that, though 

often during canonical hours he prostrated himself on the 

^ Vita Joanne, ii. 5. ^ Vita Anonyma. 



ground when it rained, yet never did a drop touch him. ' Pro- 
tected by the divine dignity, even though the ground was soaked 
and wet, his garments remained dry.' ^ And once when Odo 
and his monks were crossing the Alps on which the eternal 
snows lay deep, he and his horse were shot over a precipice. 
Dropping the reins he raised his arms to heaven, and found 
between them the branch of a tree, to which he clung till help 
came. But never in that spot had a tree been known to grow ! -^ 
And once when he was crossing the Rhone, accompanied by the 
chief men of the district, one of the horses kicked a hole in the 
boat, which immediately began to sink. By the grace of God 
it reached the bank, and all landed, Odo last of all. The instant 
he set foot on land the boat disappeared beneath the waters.^ 
What greater testimony of his merit could be given, ' since by 
this miracle he was held worthy to follow in the footsteps of 
St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Benedict '. Often did John lament 
that he had been accounted worthy to be with Jiis master only 
two years, and often did envy those who had been with him 
all their lives.* 

Other stories throw a light upon Odo's character. Not- 
withstanding his deep sense of the sin of the world, and its 
misery, he set before his monks the example of spiritual joy. 
' Such grace of the spirit filled him, that his joy not only rejoiced 
the joyful but cheered the sorrowful ; making both participators 
of the eternal joy. His language was sweet and pleasurable, 
honey being as it were distilled from his lips, while the law of 
prudence was in his heart.' ^ ' His words were full of exulta- 
tion, and often his remarks would make us laugh with too great 
hilarity. But he never let this degenerate into excess, and 
holding the reins of moderation in his hand he would check 
unseemly mirth by recalling the precept of the rule, " not to 
love much or excessive laughter " ; and again, " let not the monk 

^ Ibid. - Vita Joanne, ii. 18. ^ Ibid. ii. 17. 

* Ibid. iii. 5, JSed felices illi qui ems presentiain cernere meruerunl quoad 
vixit. Infelix ego qui nee duobus expletis annis illi merui famulari. 
» Ibid. ii. 5. 


be easily or quickly moved to laughter 'V for it is written, " the 
fool raiseth his voice in mirth ". In these and similar ways he 
restrained us, while his spiritual joy rejoiced our hearts.' 

When travelling he joyfully uplifted his voice in the singing 
of psalms, encouraging his monks to do the same. If he met a 
group of boys he would ask them to sing, and then order a 
reward to be given them, for what was after all only their play. 
Laughingly he would say that for entertaining the monks 
the boys were worthy of pay.^ ' These and similar speeches 
he made to rejoice us with his joy, and refresh us with the 
bowels of his mercy.' A charming instance of his sense of 
humour is seen in the story of the thief who in the night 
stole a horse from a monastery, and who was found in the 
morning motionless on a motionless horse. Dragged bound 
before Odo, the latter ordered him to be set free, and five 
solidi of silver to be given him, it being unjust, he gravely 
explained, that after having suffered all night, the offender should 
receive no pay.^ This story evidently became the chestnut of 
the monastery. 

Odo taught that the blind and the lame were the porters of 
the gates of paradise, and that it was suicidal to drive them from 
the gates. If a monk, impatient at the importunity of a beggar, 
answered him harshly or drove him away from the gates, Odo 
would call the beggar before him, and say, ' When he who has 
served thee thus, comes himself seeking entrance from thee at 
the gates of paradise, repay him in like manner.' ^ 

Exaggerated asceticism he did not encourage. One young 
brother during his initiation strove by weeping and prayer to 
wipe out the cloud of his past offences. ' Giving up all else 
he sweated day and night in lamentation and remorse.' But 

^ Ibid., Monachus non sit facilis ant jnom/ptus in risu. ^ Ibid. 

' Ibid. ii. 10. John often heard the story, for he later became prior of the 
monastery where the incident happened (probably St. Paul's, Rome) and 
found that the thief was the son of the miller. If ever the unfortunate miller 
refused to do something the brothers wanted, they bade John demand the 
five solidi back from him. * Ibid. ii. 5. 


Odo, skilled physician of souls, questioned the young zealot as 
to why he did not, like his companions, either teach or learn ; 
whereupon the novice revealed the agony of his heart, and his 
life of penance. Knowing that if a monk acts without the 
permission of his spiritual father his deeds are regarded not as 
meritorious but as showing presumption and vainglory, he 
begged Odo's approval of his manner of life. But Odo answered : 
' Nay, wait to become a monk, till that spirit which has goaded 
thy mind with the sting of vainglory departs from thee.' In a 
year's time the brother was found worthy to be received.^ 

One of Odo's chief characteristics was his unquenchable 
charity. He at least carried out literally the Gospel precept, 
' Take no thought for the morrow.' Even when supplies were 
not plentiful, no counsels of prudence could check his alms- 
giving. Before a journey he was careful to see that the purse- 
bearer had sufficient, not only for the needs of the monks, but 
also for the poor, and the latter fund often encroached on the 
former. Serenely he would give to all who asked, sure that at 
the worst God would interpose. Nor was his faith ever disabused. 

A peculiarity of his almsgiving was, that if any one poorly 
dressed brought him a gift, he would ask him if he lacked for 
anything. If the answer was yes, he calculated the value of 
the gift, and commanded double the amount to be given to the 
donor — a procedure not always pleasing to the prior on whom the 
financing ot the monastery fell.^ Often, John confessed, when 
he saw Odo do this the sight distressed him. ' For though I had 
compassion on the poor, yet I was prior, and knowing the povertv 
of the monastery, and foreseeing the necessities of the brothers, 
I would point out that it was unjust to give all things thus 
indiscreetly away. I thought to act wisely, whereas I was only 
wrapped in the mist of darkness. But he, skilled physician 
of souls, put his finger on the pulse of my error and with this 

^ Ibid. ii. 14. Benedict did not encourage individual asceticism. The 
monk ' was to do nothing but what the common rule of the monastery and the 
example of his superiors exhorts', AVf/. cap. 7. ' Ibid. ii. 4. 



story cured the disease of my soul.' The story was, that one 
winter's night a youth set out for morning Lauds, and seeing 
a beggar lying half-naked in the porch of the church he covered 
him with his coat. When he returned to his cell half- 
frozen with cold he found a gift of gold, with which he was able 
not only to buy a new coat, but to give abundantly to the poor. 
A charming incident of Odo's generosity occurred on a jour- 
ney in Italy. The monks had set out well supplied with funds, 
thirty solidi silver, but before reaching Siena the greater part 
had been given away. At Siena there was famine, and John the 
purse-bearer, knowing that it would be impossible to check Odo's 
almsgiving, and that as a result the monks would be reduced 
to actual straits, secreted what solidi were left, and passed on 
first beyond the town. On entering Siena Odo was surrounded 
by beggars, beseeching that aid he had never been known to 
refuse. Immediately he called for the purse-bearer, to find him 
gone, but knowing he could not be far off, he told the beggars to 
follow. Nor was that enough. On leaving the town he noticed 
three men just as poverty-stricken as the beggars, but too proud 
to ask for help. With singular delicacy he asked them what 
was the price of some pots of laurel berries before their house. 
The men named a trifling sum, which Odo said was not enough, 
and that he would give them more. Meanwhile, John waiting 
beyond the town was amazed to see Odo approach, ' like a 
general starting out for war, though his troops were but beggars '. 
So pleased was Odo at having outwitted his disciple, that he 
almost forgot to give the customary benediction to John's saluta- 
tion, and joyfully called out, ' These are the servants of God and 
our co-labourers, hasten therefore to give them their reward.' 
Having obeyed, John asked in real amazement what the laurel 
berries were for. The reply came in words such as John never 
hoped to hear again, while the monks laughed till they cried.^ 

^ Ibid. ii. 7, Adeo enim ovines exhilaravit tit prae nimio gaudio, ne qvis ex 
nostris suas lacrymas jyosset continere, iit valeret alter alteri loqui. A mediaeval 
joke somewhat difficult to see : either Odo chaffed his purse-bearer, or the 
monks laughed at seeing the well-beloved John rebuked. 


When they recovered, John humbly begged that they might 
return the berries, but this Odo would not hear of, lest the 
sellers returned the price. Even when they had reached a 
lonely part of the road where there was no danger of being seen, 
he was with difficulty persuaded to let the monks throw the 
berries away. 

It was not only in gifts of money that Odo's generosity showed 
itself. On his journeys if he overtook a weak or poor old man, 
he immediately got off his horse, made the other mount, and with 
a monk to hold him on, precede all the company. ' And though 
the other monks were on horseback, he himself would walk on 
foot, joyfully singing psalms and making the rest join in.' If 
one of the monks wished to dismount, Odo forbade him, knowing 
that his motive was rather respect for his abbot than love for 
the poor.^ In this connexion John tells a story against himself. 
Once when he was travelling with Odo they overtook an old man 
carrying a filthy sack, full of bread, onions, leeks, and olives, 
whose combined odours caused John to flee. Odo as usual 
dismounted, gave his horse to the old man, and took the sack, 
a sight which moved John to shame. So he rejoined Odo, who 
received him with such words of rebuke and love that the 
disciple, forgetting the smell, was able to proceed at his master's 
side.'^ Another time Odo overtook a mad old woman and set 
her on his horse, when immediately she recovered her reason ! 
The sequel shows why Odo was so beloved by the poor. He 
and his companions went on to Rome, leaving the woman at 
Siena. Some time later at St. Paul's, Odo signed to John to 
give money to a woman sitting with bent head at the church 
door. John asked why ; but the abbot's old eyes had been 
quicker than the disciple's young ones, for the woman was she 
whom they had succoured by the way. 

As Odo was sixty when John first knew him, these stories of 
his journeys show that he must have been of great physical 
strength. On the occasion of the journey to Siena, for example, 

' Ibid. ii. 5. * Ibid. ii. 6. 


the season was winter, the roads bad, and the crossing of the 
Alps proved terrible. Heavy snow fell, the little company lost 
their way, and were so frozen with cold that they even lost the 
power of speech. Odo's suffering wrung John's heart, but all 
he could do was to force the abbot to wear his tunic. On their 
way home, when crossing the Juras at nightfall, they met a 
man who, with naked feet and body, stoutly advanced through 
the deep snow. Odo, letting the monks pass that they might 
not divine his intention, stripped off his mantle and clothed 
the stranger. In that vast solitude there was no inn near ; 
but the stranger said he would reach the camp that day, i.e. in 
an hour. Hence John knew that he was no man but a fiend 
in human form, since he was going to do in an hour what had 
taken them all day. A dream proved that he was right ; all 
the more did he marvel at his master's charity, which extended 
even to the wicked.^ 

If a soul were to be saved Odo could be pitiless. Once on 
his way to Rome he passed by the vicus Vaduscinie, ' where a 
man lived who, among the other crimes in which his mind 
revelled, had shamelessly taken to himself two wives '. Outside 
his door the way was blocked by a huge heap of mud, which the 
monks climbed over with the greatest difficulty. Odo passed 
safely and unhurt, his horse stepping as if he were on dry ground. 
Seeing this miracle, the evil man prostrated himself at Odo's 
feet, imploring him to enter his house. He consented, when 
the man rushed hither and thither setting the tables, doing 
service, and trying in every way to please the father. Seeing 
two women in the house Odo asked which was the wife. When 
he replied ' Both ', Odo said, ' I give you your choice : banish 
the younger woman or I leave your house.' Immediately the 
man thrust her forth, aroused from the death of the soul by the 
voice of the father.^ What happened to the woman evidently 
did not matter. 

Travelling as much as he did, Odo's life was frequently in 

^ Ibid, ii, 8, Non fuisset homo purus. ^ Vita A nonyma. 


danger J Once forty robbers rushed at him, only to be checked 
by his intrepid bearing, for he advanced undauntedly with his 
monks, nor ceased to sing the accustomed psalms. This sight 
pierced one of the robbers to the heart, and he cried : ' Let us 
leave them alone for I never remember having seen such men 
before. We might overcome the company, but never their 
armour-bearer, that strenuous man. If we attack them it will 
be the worse for us.' When his companions replied that they 
would kill the armour-bearer, despoil the others, and flee, he 
rejoined, ' Then turn your arms against me, for as long as I 
am alive, no harm shall come to them.' Divided among them- 
selves, they wrangled so much that the monks passed on in 
safety. But the first speaker followed Odo, asked what penance 
he should do, and thereafter ceased from his depravity. 

Another robber having seen Odo on a journey, was struck by 
contrition before the gentleness of his face, and begged that he 
might become a monk. Odo told him to briug first ' some 
distinguished man from his district ' to answer for him. From 
the latter Odo learnt that the young man was a notorious robber. 
As it was dangerous to have such a wolf among his lambs, he said, 
' Go first and reform your morals, and then seek our monastery.' 
In despair the robber cried, ' Father, if thou reject me to-day 
I shall go straight to perdition, and verily from thy hand God 
will require my soul.' So the pitiful Odo bade the young man 
precede him to CI any, where after probation he was accounted 
worthy to be received. He was given the humblest of offices, 
that of servant to the cellarer, and as he was totally ignorant 
the monks tried to teach him. ' Most devout he was, patient 
under his yoke of obedience, and fervent in his study of the 
psalms.' His days passed laboriously till he came to die, when 
he begged to see the abbot alone. On Odo's asking whether he 
had transgressed the rule, he confessed with deep contrition that 
he had given ' their ' tunic to a naked man. Worse still, he 

^ Vita Joanne, ii. 19, Cinn pro pace regnm et principum et correctione 
mona-'itenonim imp:iiienti amore arderet et oh hoc hue illncque discurreret. 


had stolen a piece of rope from the cellar, for on entering the 
monastery he had found it so difficult to restrain gluttonous 
desires, that he had taken the rope to tie round his body. When 
the rope was removed, so deeply had it eaten into the body, 
that the flesh came away with it. But the monk's pain was to 
him as a very little thing, for that night he saw a woman of 
glorious person and excellent power, who said she was the 
Mother of Mercy. True to his training in obedience he asked 
what she would have him do, and learnt to his joyful amaze- 
ment that he was to join her in three days. Three days later 
he died, sure proof that his words were true. Ever after Odo 
called the Blessed Virgin Mater Misericordiae} 

Two stories tell of illness. Two monks, whose names John 
thought it better not to insert, suffered from a fatal disease, and 
often begged Odo to let them try medicine. At last he consented, 
though speaking in a parable he warned them that he had seen 
a monk who, suffering from the same disease, took medicine 
only to be tortured with pain. They, not understanding that 
he referred to them, took the medicine, suffered great agony, 
nor ever recovered. ^ Another monk at Rome, forced by neces- 
sity, bled himself at an ' incompetent ' hour, though terrified 
and remorseful because he had been unable to ask Odo's per- 
mission. And indeed the blood poured forth with such impetus 
that the vein burst and no remedy could save him ! ^ The monks 
of that monastery said that whatever Odo foretold, good or 
bad, always came true. 

A rather charmingly told incident shows how news was 
carried in those days. John had gone to Naples on the business 
of his monastery,* whence he hastened to return to Rome. At 
Porto he was received by certain noble men who had arrived 
from Rome that day. He immediately asked them about his 
beloved master. They, rejoicing as if over a friend, told him, 

1 Ibid. ii. 20. According to one MS. Odo ordered the monk to be whipped 
for his theft. When he returned to see him next day the monk told his vision. 

2 Ibid. ii. 14. •■* Ibid. iii. 5. 

* Ibid ii. 21, Cogente necessitate nostri monasterii missus sum Neapolim. 


inter alia, the following story. On Assumption day Odo, who was 
staying at St. Mary's, Aventine, was asked by the abbot and 
monks to say mass. He refused, but when they insisted he 
entered the church. After praying for a little time, he hastily 
turned to leave, and when they tried to retain him, he cried, ' I 
beseech you let me go, for two of our brothers are at the point of 
death, and I must hasten to them lest they die in my absence. 
Behold, lie who is sent for me is at the gate.' Scarcely had he 
finished speaking when the messenger arrived ! 



Odo's successor was Aymardus, of whom unfortunately little is 
known.^ No biography was written of him, and what informa- 
tion we possess comes from scanty references in the Vita Odonis, 
Vita Maioli, and in later chronicles. 

Aymardus must have been appointed Odo's coadjutor and 
successor as early as 938, a charter of that date ^ giving his name 
as abbot, though Odo's death did not occur till 942.^ It is 
easily intelligible, that the frequency of Odo's absences from 
Cluny and his multifarious activity made the presence of a co- 
adjutor at the Mother house necessary. 

According to the Vita Maioli, Aymardus was not the first 
choice of the brothers, who twice begged Hildebrand, their 
prior, to become abbot, but he refused, ' preferring rather to 
obey than to command '. A legend of the eleventh century 
tells that Aymardus was chosen abbot on account of his humility. 
On the day of the election he was seen entering the monastery 
leading his horse, which was laden with fish. So struck were the 
brothers by this sight that they immediately elected him abbot. 
In the charters the adjective humilis nearly always precedes his 

^ Brue], i. 217 (anno 920). A certain Aymardus, miles clarissivius, gave 
Cluny the curtis Silviniacus with its church and all pertaining to it, i.e. houses, 
vineyards, fields, meadows, and half a forest. Ibid. i. 443 : an Aydoardus 
gave land in the province of Macon. Ibid. i. 460 : A. gave land in the province 
of Autun, anno 936, Ibd. i. 474 (anno 937): Aydoardus a priest gave a 
chapel to Cluny. 

2 Ibid. i. 486, Ad Chin, ubi dominus Heymardus abbas preesse videtur. 

2 Ibid. 534 (anno 941), Clun. ubi preest Oddo abbas; cf. ibid. 1. 537 (anno 
941), sub qua congregation e Heymardus abbas. 



In the Vita Maioli ^ there is a passage about Aymardus 
which runs : ' Aymardus, son of happy memory and blessed 
simplicity and innocence, was zealous in increasing the property 
of the monastery and in acquiring material goods. Besides this 
he was devoted in the observance of the rule.' Rodulf Glaber 
described him as a simple man, who though not as famous as the 
other abbots of Cluny, yet like them carefully upheld the regular 

Perhaps Odo's rule, though making for the spiritual renown 
of the abbey, had somewhat neglected the material interests. 
Here Aymardus' practical gifts came in, the more so as after 
Odo's death many gifts of land were presented to the monastery. 
To deal with these donations required organising talent which 
Aymardus evidently possessed. 

In his latter years Aymardus became blind, ' an affliction 
which he bore without a murmur as he did all his other 
adversities '. It was probably on account of his blindness that 
after sixteen years of rule he retired from active participation 
in the administration of the monastery. His blindness was the 
occasion for an instance of ' marvellous humility ' of which 
Peter Damiani wrote to a friend. After Maiolus was appointed 
coadjutor and successor, Aymardus withdrew to the infirmary 
to spend his last years in peace. One day he wanted a cheese. 
When he asked the cellarius to fetch it, the latter roughly replied 
that so many abbots were a nuisance, and that he could not 
attend to all their commands. Cut off by his blindness Aymardus 
brooded over the insult as the blind are wont to do. Then he 
asked to be led to the chapter house, where approaching Maiolus 
he said : ' Brother Maiolus, I did not set thee over me that 
thou shouldest persecute me, or order me about as a master orders 
a slave, but that as a son thou mightest have compassion on 

^ Bihl. ('l)!)i. p. 209, Vltfi Maioli Odilotie, Hie in niK/inentatione irraediorum 
et adqui.^itione temporalis com modi adto studiosus Juii ei in ob.^ervatione satis 

'"* Ibid, Rod. (rlab. iii. 5, Vir simplex qui licet non adro fa mo.'ii-'i.'fi m x.'^, rrgularis 
lamen observantiae non impnr ciisfos. 


thy father/ After many more words he concluded, ' Art thou 
indeed my monk ? ' Maiolus replied that he was, and never 
more so than at that moment. ' If that be so,' Aymardus 
rejoined, ' give up thy seat and take the one thou hadst before.' 
Immediately Maiolus obeyed, and Aymardus seating himself 
on the abbatial chair accused the cellarer, whom prostrate on 
the ground he rebuked and enjoined to do penance. Then 
descending from the abbot's throne he ordered Maiolus to 
ascend, which the latter did without either haste or delay.^ 

The one event in Aymardus' life of which there is a sufficient 
account is that of his retirement. ^ He was ill, weak, blind, 
weary, and worn out with his struggles ; he knew that Maiolus 
shone in good deeds and was raised to the heights on the wings 
of virtue. So he called the brothers together and exhorted them 
to choose a new abbot, as he in his blindness could no longer 
watch over the interests of the monastery. The monks did not 
know what to reply, till he, by divine inspiration, urged them to 
elect Maiolus, as alone fit for the charge. 

Nalgoldus ^ in his Vita Maioli expands this account and 
makes Aymardus say : ' 111, blind, and weary, I can no longer 
be responsible for the interests of the monastery, nor fittingly 
watch over its welfare. For it is well known that not only is 
the spirit of bravery in soldiers derived from their king, and 
their courage from his magnanimity and boldness, but that if 
he, their leader, is remiss, they too lose their virtue. The 
health of the whole body is in the head, and if it is sound, so are 
the members. If the king loses courage, all his followers, even 
the strongest and most manly, are overcome with womanly 
fears. If the head is injured the whole body suffers. Now I 
who lead you in the celestial militia before the whole church, 
watch over your welfare as your head. I am old, infirm, blind, 
and cannot longer retain this responsibility. Exercise, therefore, 
your discretion and choose a father who will lead you in the way 

1 Bihl. Clun. p. 269. ^ Migne, 137, p. 751, Vita Maioli Syro, ii. 2. 

3 AA.8S. Boll. May II. p. 658. 


of God, and as a column of light in the night of offence direct your 
steps. For if a ship without a rudder cannot reach port neither 
can your souls without a pilot.' 

Suffering as he did from ill health and blindness, Aymardus 
could not have been, even had he wished, the indefatigable 
traveller and reformer that Odo was. We only know of two 
monasteries that came under Cluny's jurisdiction when he was 
abbot. The first was Celsiniacus (Sauxillanges ^), founded by 
count Acfredus (927), and given to Cluny by Stephen, bishoj) 
of Clermont (950), who with his father, and his father's wife, 
called Aymardus to Sauxillanges. Aymardus was to send 
monks there. No services nor dues were to be required of them, 
nor on the occasion of an episcopal visitation was there to be 
any attempt at usurping rights over the monastery. ^ Louis IV., 
king of the Franks, at the bishop's request, confirmed Cluny's 
possession of Sauxillanges. 

In 958 Conrad, king of Burgundy, at the request of Boso, 
count of Provence, gave Cluny the abbey of St. Amand's, near 

^ Bruel, i. 286. The charter of gift is obscure and the Latin faulty. 
Acfredus, duke of Aquitaine, pondering on human frailty and lioping that by 
the gift of a small portion of the land granted him b}^ God, his sins might 
be remitted, gave to God the curtis Celsiniacus with its fields, vineyards, 
woods appendariae (i.e. rustic buildings of small value. — Ducange), five mills, 
the woodland where he hunted, his own house, two churches, and everything 
which belonged to the curtis in various districts : i.e. three churches, seven 
vineyards, and a long list of manors, houses, and appendariae. At Celsiniacus 
a house of religion was to be built, subjected neither to count, bishop, abbot, an}'^ 
of the count's relations, any mortal ruler, any saint nor angel spirit, but to God 
and the Trinity alone. The servants [ministri) of God sent there were to have 
no rector over them, no judicial power was to use force against them, molest 
them, nor take unjust dues from them. They were to put their trust in God 
only, and their serfs and coloni if accused or interrogated were to seek no 
other protector than Christ and the servants of God there : at one point these 
servants of God are called clerici, at another monachi. The gift was made in 
honour of the twelve apostles, therefore twelve canons were unwcariedly to 
l)ray day and night for the church, and for the remission of the sins of the 
count and of all the faithful. The scheme was evidently found impracticable, 
but under Cluny Sauxillanges rose to great fame. 

- Bruel i. 792, Ant quodlihet sen'itium vel debituin ab ipsius loci potestate 
pro qiialicumquc ingenio exigere, sen occasiotie episcopatus aliquid illic ivivstc 
ordinare nee sue rei potentatu quiddam dominare. The bishop's father had been 
the count's almoner. 


St. Paul-Trois-Chateaux, for lie felt that if he were zealous in the 
restoration and care of ecclesiastical things he would not only 
rule on earth, but in heaven receive an eternal reward ; also 
that the nearer the day of death came, the more urgent he should 
be in doing good. No count or magnate was to interfere with 
St. Amand's or its property, which was to be held for the use 
of the monks alone. ^ Next year Lothair, king of the Franks, 
at his mother's request also confirmed Cluny's possession in a 
charter which stated that St. Amand's was a ruined house 
without rector es, and situated in an uninhabited district. The 
monks were to build there, according to their skill, a ' habitable 
place ', and to hold the property : vills, meadows, vineyards, 
woods, waters, and serfs of either sex.^ 

After he had been seven years sole abbot of Cluny, Aymardus 
received a charter from a pope Agapitus ^ (sic), because Cluny 
was one of those holy places to which reverence was due (949). 
The monastery's liberties and privileges were confirmed, and its 
freedom from the domination of king, bishop, count, or relative 
of duke William the founder. The monks were freely to elect 
their own abbot without consulting any prince.* No bishop, 
count, nor other person was to enter the monastery, nor give 
orders, without the abbot's permission. Tenths which formerly 
belonged to the monastery's chapels, and by the ' modern 
authority ' of any bishop had been taken away, were restored 
in their entirety. Bishop Berno's decree over tenths from their 
churches was to stand. If any new chapels were built there, tenths 
of Cluny's churches were not to be diminished. Part of those 
tenths and part of the returns from the vineyards and cultivated 
land belonging to the above churches could be retained for the 

1 Ibid. ii. 1052. - Ibid. ii. 1057. 

'' Bibl. Clun. p. 27.3. It behoved the apostolic authority to receive with' 
benevolent compassion the vows of those who humbly approached it, and with 
swift devotion to answer their prayers. In return the greatest reward would 
be given by the Maker of all : therefore the pope granted Aymardus' petition 
that Cluny should continue in that state which was decreed in duke William's 

* Nisi forte, quod nb'^it, personam suis vitiis consentientem eligere mahierirtt. 


hospitale. No one was to seize or attack the monastery's 
municijpia or property. Its possession of Sauxillanges, Carus 
Locus, the abbeys of St. John and St. Martin, Macon, the church 
of St. Saturn with its alod (tlie gift of archbishop Gerald), 
with other churches, vills, and alods, was also confirmed. To 
show that it behoved the Holy See to guard and cherish Cluny 
the monks were to pay Rome ten solidi every five years. ^ 

Besides the papal, Aymardus received several royal charters. 
Three were granted by Louis, king of the Franks, at the request 
of Hugh, duke of the Franks, Hugh, duke of Burgundy, and 
count Letaldus, names that show Cluny to have had influential 
friends. In 946, the three nobles begged the king to ratify the 
gift of St. John's, Macon, ^ with its alods, lands, and serfs (con- 
firmed three years after in the papal charter, see supra). Later 
in the same year they begged for the ratification of another gift, 
a vill with its vineyards, fields, meadows, woods, rivers, waters, 
fisheries, serfs, and coloni with their children \ ^ and finally 
for the confirmation of Cluny's possession of Carus Locus, the 
cella Regniacus, and abbey St. Martin's, Macon, with all belonging 
to them : churches, vills, vineyards, fields, meadows, woods, 
waters, serfs.* Duke Hugh and count Letaldus had influence 
also with Louis' successor, Lothair, who (955) at their request 
reconfirmed ^ Cluny's liberties and privileges, ' as conceded by 
former Frankish kings '. The castrurn of the monastery was to 
remain immune and subject to the monks alone, none daring to 
exercise judicial power within or without its circle, unless with 
their sanction. The monastery's property and possessions were 
to be held freely with no interference from outside authority, 
as former charters had decreed. 

^ Any one who did not observe the charter was to be bound with the chain 
of anathema, ahenated from the kingdom of God, and tortured eternally by 
the devil. 

2 Bruel, i. 688. =* Ibid. i. 689. * Bibl. Cliui. 277. 

^ Bruel, ii. 980, ' If we strengthen holy places by our royal authority, 
without doubt we shall receive an eternal reward. . . . Assenting benignly 
to their request as is the custom of kings, we confirm whatever is known to 
liave been granted Cluny by former kings of France, saving the apostolic right,* 


In those early years, the kings of Burgundy continued to 
favour Cluny. In 943 Conrad, at the request of his relative 
count Hugh, ceded to Cluny a vill with its churches, and the 
little vills, lands, vineyards, meadows, woods, pasture lands, 
waters, and serfs belonging to it.^ The same year, again at 
count Hugh's request, he ceded to Cluny another vill which 
Hugh had given him,^ with everything belonging to it. Still, 
in 943, he supported the monks against his relative Charles of 
Vienne, who had disputed Cluny's right to the abbey of Carus 
Locus. The monks proceeded to Vienne and in the presence 
of the king pleaded against Charles, who finally acknowledged 
his error and signed Cluny's charter of possession. This was 
countersigned by the king, at whose command the decision of 
the case was written down.^ Carus Locus proved a precarious 
possession. A certain Sobbo held it for some time. The monks 
again went to court, when Sobbo, convinced by the high authority 
on which their claim was based, ' broke the reins of his cupidity 
and withdrew his case ' (948). For the monks proved that 
Carus Locus had belonged to Robert, bishop of Valence, who built 
the monastery, and put it under the papal guardianship. By 
the pope it was given to Odo of Cluny, as its charters ratified by 
kings Hugh, Lothair, and pope John XL testified. Sobbo made 
his retraction handsomely. Insatiable greed caused men to steal. 
He, Sobbo, was a sinner.^ 

A miserable sinner (remembering that now was the accepted 
time, etc.), whose father had left Cluny property which he through 
greed had withheld, at last recognised his sin, and with his wife's 
consent gave all with goodwill to St. Peter, i.e. a church with 
its vill and seven other vills, another church with the manor 
attached to it, serfs, land, mills, meadows, houses, moveables 
and immoveables. In reparation he also gave an alod of his 
own and hoped that God would forgive his sins, let him escape 
hell, and gain heaven.^ 

1 Ibid. i. 627. 2 Ibid. i. 628. » Ibid. i. 622. * Ibid. i. 730. 

^871 (954). The preamble is the same as i. 726. 


Of the other charters the majority deal with exchanges of 
land, evidence of Aymardus' good management and his care to 
round off Cluny's property. The charters dealing with these 
and with gifts of land follow the customary formulae. Several 
deal with disputes. In one case, heard before count Leotbald, 
his retainers, and the viscount, two men disputed Cluny's 
possession of a vineyard. To vindicate their rights the monks 
sent two advocati, who in front of the church of Macon success- 
fully pleaded their suit, and proved that the vineyard belonged 
to St. Peter. 

Before the glorious marquis Hugh, the monks sued Ademar, 
viscount of Lyons, for taking property assured to them by royal 
charter. When Ademar learnt that his senior was on their side, 
and that their charter of gift had been signed by the king, he 
renounced his claim and bound himself before Hugh not to 
offend again. 

The chief monks of Cluny, i.e. Hildebrand, Leotbald, and 
many others appeared before count Leotbald, bishop Maimbod, 
viscount Walter, and their retainers, to accuse a certain Hugh,^ 
who held two churches bequeathed to Cluny by the late duke 
William of Aquitaine, and other property which had passed from 
the countess Ava to her brother the duke, and from him to 
Cluny. Hugh, in the presence of all, stood up and protested that 
the property belonged to him by deed of gift from his mother, 
and showed the charter signed by his senior, Leotbald. Judge- 
ment was given that this plea was not valid, and that if he 
could not advance further evidence he was to restore what he 
had taken. He thereupon admitted St. Peter's right and with- 
drew his claim. 

Count Leotbald and his wife gave an alod with an ecdesia, 
vineyards, meadows, woods, pasture, mills, houses, water, serfs, 
the whole to revert to Cluny when either he or his wife died, 
but for which till then they were to pay two solidi annually. 
Wherever the count died, the monks were to fetch his body and 

1 Ibid. i. GoO. 


bury it at Cluny.^ Later they gave a manor with a church and 
everything belonging to it except one alod and a plantation 
of trees. The count was to hold it in usufruct for his lifetime,^ 
paying the monks twelve denarii annually. He finally gave 
another church, eleven manors, and thirteen servants (servientes).^ 

Several gifts came from bishops. Maimbod, bishop of Macon, 
gave a curtiliis, with old vineyards part sown with grain, five 
fields, a meadow, and half a wood* (947). In 945 ^ and in 953 ® 
he exchanged land. In 956 when he was holding a synod, 
surrounded by a multitude of clerks, nobles, and laymen, Hilde- 
brand and Maiolus, with other monks of Cluny, came before him, 
and humbly begged him to give them tenths of two churches 
which belonged to his cathedral, and to allow that the churches 
with their tenths, property, and everything belonging to them, 
might always and without opposition be secured for their use. 
The bishop, having consulted his archdeacons and clerks, 
assented, ' without any gift having passed between the parties '. '^ 
He also, at the request of Aymardus and count Leotbald, 
consecrated a chapel dedicated to the confessor Taurinus and 
built by the monks in a vill which they had received from kings 
Rudolf and Louis.^ A nice discrimination was evidently necessary 
on such occasions, the bishop having first diligently inquired 
(1) whether the chapel recently founded would prejudice other 
churches, (2) would be of advantage to all Christians who 
cherished Christ in their hearts and the aforesaid confessor. 
The chapel was to be endowed by the monks with a colonia, 
three serfs, and a field (950). 

An archbishop Gerald, oppressed by the enormity of his 
sins, bequeathed all his possessions to Cluny, remembering 
' that now is the appointed time, now is the day of salvation ', 

1 Ibid. i. 625. 

- Ibid. i. 655, Mansus indominicatus. ^ Ibid. i. 768. 

4 Bruel, i. 707. ^ Ibid. i. 667. « Ibid. i. 842. 

'Ibid. ii. 1000, Vice domni abbatis Eymardi et reliquorum monachorum 
Cluniaco degentium. 

^ Ibid. i. 780, Nee congruum erat ut tarn gloriosus confessor et sinceUite 
inihi commoranfes diu sine benedictione episcopali persisteret. 


i.e. a church with three vills and islands, a manor, lands, and 
houses in various districts. He intended to take the habit at 
Cluny, hoping thereby to escape the flames of hell, and to gain 
the celestial kingdom ^ (948). Manasses, archbishop of Aries, 
reflecting on the enormity of his sins, fearing the last secret judge- 
ment, remembering that now was the accepted time, and that as 
he could do ;io good after death it was wise to do good to those 
who without doubt would judge souls in the future, gave property 
to Cluny, ' where Aymardus rules with pious moderation ' : i.e. 
Juilly with three churches, vineyards, meadows, plains, pasture, 
woods, water, cultivated and uncultivated ground, buildings and 
serfs. 2 Burchard, archbishop of Lyons, consented to Aymardus' 
request that the services due to the cathedral from two of the 
Cluniac churches should be reduced. For the parish had lost in 
numbers owing to its men having become vassals and to the 
unsettledness of the times. The archbishop recognised the 
justice of this plea.^ The bishop of Grenoble was not behind. 
In his diocese no synodal service was to be required from the 
monks except the customary wax. 

A few churches were given by laymen. A woman, 
for her father's and son's souls gave a church with tenths, 
preshiteratus , parochia, and all belonging to it.* Three 
brothers, wishing to save their own and their parents' souls 
from hell, gave a chapel with all belonging to it, i.e. vineyards, 
meadows, fields.^ A donor and his wife weighed down by their 
sins, but hoping that the pious and merciful God would save them 
and their relatives from the jaws of hell, and that they might 
merit to be set, not with the impious, but with the elect, and hear 
the words, ' Come, ye blessed ', gave a vill with its chapel, fields, 
woods, meadows, apple trees, and waters to Cluny.^ Another 

^ Ibid. i. 724. Fields, vineyards, meadows, woods, waters, mills, houses, 
buildings, cultivated and uncultivated ground, furniture. 

- Ibid. i. 72(). 

■' Ibid. i. 734, Cogitans diminutionem parochianini qitq per vassio)i€m 
quorundam et temporis inslabilitaie facta est. 

* Ibid. i. 657. s ibid. i. 773. « Ibid. i. 838. 



donor had not hardened his heart but intently listening in 
church had heard that Christ, grieved at seeing the human race 
spotted by sin through the cunning of the ancient enemy of the 
race, had deigned to give salutary medicine for the many wounds 
of sin of which the most efficacious was to make friends of the 
Manmion of unrighteousness and thereby receive entrance to 
an eternal home. Remembering the enormity of his sins and 
fearful of his last hour he gave a manor, chapel, seven serfs and 
their families to Cluny.i 

Parts of churches were also given, e.g. a third of a church ; ^ 
half a church and quarter of another, given by a woman, with a 
vill and serfs ; ^ a sixth of a church and its property ; * half a 
vill with half its church, lands, fields, waters, mills. In the last 
case the donor and his wife, not wishing to spend all they had 
for their own bodies, rejoiced that the divine clemency allowed 
the faithful to give from the transitory possessions which they 
had gained by just labour, and thereby obtain eternal reward. 
All the same it was only after their death that the monks 
could hold, order, and dispose it as they would. Any one 
who disputed the donation was to feel the anger of the Virgin's 
son, find himself shut out from paradise by St. Peter, and 
lest he should seem to escape punishment in this life, pay 100 
pounds gold to the monks.^ Parts of churches to be held for 
the donor's lifetime were also given, e.g. viscount Ratburn and 
his wife gave a church with its presbiteratus and parrochia and a 
third of what belonged to the church, i.e. curtilus, mountains, 
woods, thickets. They were to hold it in usufruct for life and 
pay St. Peter annually tenths in vestitura. On their death the 
whole reverted to Cluny.^ A man and his wife, to make friends 
with the poor in Christ, who would receive them into their 
eternal habitations, gave Cluny half a chapel and a manor, which 
they were to hold for life and pay the monks twelve denarii 
annually.'^ Another man and his wife, reflecting on the enormity 

1 Ibid. i. 875. - Ibid. i. 789. » Ibid, i 651. * Ibid. i. 706. 

6 Ibid. i. 876. ^ ibid. i. 546. ' Ibid. i. 746. 


of their sins, but also on what was better, the sweet voice of 
Christ saying, ' Give alms ', gave Cluny land near Macon and a 
Curtis in Auvergne with its chapel, which the monks were to hold 
in vestitura. On the death of the donors the curtis, chapel, fields, 
serfs, freedmeii, mills, houses, moveables, immoveables, and any 
new buildings there, reverted to the monks. ^ A dount gave 
an alod with two churches and a vill. For the dispensation of 
God allows all who reflect sanely to give from their transitory 
goods in order to receive an eternal reward. He was to hold 
all while he lived and pay Cluny twelve solidi annually.^ A priest 
sold half of two churches with their presbiteratus to the monks, 
and received from Aymardus 9 pounds silver that the sale should 
be firm and stable. He was to have usufruct for his lifetime 
and to give the monks in vestitura for the church a vineyard and 
a field. Any one who made trouble about the sale was to pay 
4 pounds gold, half to the royal fisc, half to the monks.^ One 
man and his wife gave a vill with its church and all belonging 
to it to his son. If the latter died without a legitimate heir they 
passed to Cluny.* One sinner and his wife made their donation 
because God said, ' Give alms and all worldly things will be 
yours ', and, ' As water extinguishes fire, so alms extinguisheth 
sin.' They hoped not to be thrust away with the impious into 
the jaws of hell but to merit to hear the joyful words, ' Come, 
ye blessed.' ^ The rest of the charters record gifts of vineyards, 
land, property, and vills. From the numerous exchanges of 
land it may be inferred that Aymardus was carefully rounding 
off the Cluniac property. 

1 Ibid. i. 825. " Ibid. i. 797. 

^ Ibid. i. 751, Ut ccrtius credenda sit accio no.stra, accipio de vobis in urycnte 
atit in valente libras viiii, et inantea venditio ista jirma et slabilis permaneat. Eo 
tenore diiin ego Ado advixero usuin et fructuin: . . . et dono vobis de ipsam 
ecclesiam interim in vestitura . . . vineam nnam. 

* Ibid. i. 653. ^ Ibid. i. 838. 



Maiolus, fourth abbot of Cluny, lived in very eventful times. 
He saw the extinction of a dynasty in Gaul, the rise of the 
Capetian house, the disappearance of the independent kingdom 
of Burgundy, and the march of the Teutonic eagles to Italy. 

The date of his birth is unknown. The marriage settlement 
of his parents was drawn up in 909. His father, a miles, was 
of an old provincial family of Avignon, his mother of no less 
noble birth.^ His father, Fulcher, must have had a goodly 
inheritance. His marriage settlement ^ on his wife Raimodis 
included three vills in Apt, two vills and a church in Aix, two 
vills and a church in Sister on, two v^ills with two churches and 
two vills without churches in Riez, also ten serfs with their wives 
and children : altogether a hundred manors and fifty serfs 
(mancipia). The marriage settlement was drawn up publicly 
at Avignon ' according to the Roman law of the husband '. 
Raimodis was to do whatever she wished with this property, 
having most free and firm hold over it. If Fulcher, his relations 
or other persons interfered with it they were to pay a heavy 

Two sons were born of the marriage, Maiolus and Cynricus.^ 
Probably Cynricus was the elder as Maiolus seems to have been 
early destined for the church, and as a child was given to 
' literary studies '. * He was so precocious in mind and morals 

^ Migne, 137, Vita Maioli Syro, i. 1, Ex Avenicorum oppido 2^nf^ntibus 

2 Bruel, i. 105, In dotalicium. Final in summo mansa 100, in sponsalitium 
ifitud et mancipia 50. 

3 Ibid.^iij, 1071, Fratri meo Eyrico ; anno 959. 
Ahipsis infantiae rudimentis siudiis litterarum traditus. 




that his future greatness was foretold by many. His name 
itself, Maiolus, i.e. magnus oculus, seemed sure proof that God 
had chosen him for Himself. ' Like a splendid star he was 
destined to raise human conditions.' ^ While yet a boy he lost 
his parents. 2 About the same time the family lands were 
devastated by the barbarians. The boy therefore went to 
Macon, where he was received by a relative, ' one of the chief 
men of the city '.^ In time the bishop of Macon, having heard 
of his reputation for learning, asked him to join the college of 
canons. Maiolus refused, as he wished to study under Antony, 
a teacher of Lyons, famous not only for his wisdom but for the 
virtue of his life. He went therefore to Lyons, which as a schol- 
astic centre still retained something of the renown which had 
been hers in Roman days, ' excelling all towns far and near in 
the opportunities she offered for the study of religion and the 
liberal arts. Nurse of philosophy and mother of all Gaul, she 
upheld not unworthily the keystone of ecclesiastical right. Her 
fame had spread across the seas, and to her flocked men eager 
to learn wisdom '.* 

At Lyons Maiolus sought and enjoyed the companionship of 
good men, keeping himself aloof from the pleasures and vices 
indulged in by many of his companions, fearing lest, once 
infected by them, he should be unable to free himself later. So 
great was his reputation for holiness that he was already con- 
sidered a monk. 

From Lyons he returned to Macon, and was ordained priest. 
He laboured gladly in the vineyard of the Lord, ' kind to all, 
just to all, harming none, doing good to many, and striving 
to perfect himself in wisdom. Never was lying, detraction, or 
flattery heard from his mouth. Nor did he hesitate to be 
severe, if by admonition, exhortation, or rebuke, he could win a 
brother to the truth '. Fearful lest he should be condemned for 
hiding his talent, and eager not only to inform his ow^n mind 
but to help others, he gathered round him a large body of clerks 

1 Vita Odilone. - Vita Syro, i. 4. ^ Ibid. i. 4. * Ibid. L 5. 


and taught them for nothing. In time he was appointed arch- 

To gratify that love of solitude and meditation which was 
one of his chief characteristics, he built at some distance from the 
town, and on the opposite side of the river, a little oratory to 
which he could retire for silent prayer.^ The withdrawal from 
the world of so young and eminent a priest caused his fame to 
spread, and when the bishopric of Besan9on fell vacant, the see 
was offered him ' by the unanimous voice of princes, ecclesi- 
astics, and people '.^ His humility would not let him accept. 
Moreover he was afraid that, in a position where necessarily 
he would be involved in a certain amount of secular business, 
his soul might be led to seek the gains and glory of a world he 
despised.* There seemed to him a higher calling, a more perfect 
vocation than life in the secular church, i.e. the monastic life. 
Disciplined therefore in ecclesiastical studies and despising the 
fleeting glory of the world, he sought the monastery of Cluny 
in the vale between the hills. He had often visited the little 
monastery so celebrated for its spiritual life, and often the 
brothers, struck by his ' sweet speech, his angelic face, the 
wonderful intelligence of his mind, and his mellifluous eloquence ', 
had wished that he were one of them. The wish was granted. 
Maiolus, ' with deepest humility from being a doctor of grammar 
began to study the wise stupidity of God, and to be the disciple 
of simple men '.^ 

At Cluny his pre-eminent virtues soon made him a con- 
spicuous figure. In the virtue of obedience especially he sur- 
passed all his companions, and, as St. Benedict taught, bore 
himself most humbly not only towards his abbot but also towards 
the brothers. ' No one is worthy to command until he has 
first learned to obey, so by the divine dispensation Maiolus was 
for long submissive to others, that later he might himself know 
how to rule without error.' When Aymardus saw him more 

1 Ibid. i. 7. ^ Ibid i. 10. ^ ibi^j, i 12. 

* Ibid ^ Ibid. i. 13. 


responsible and wiser than his fellows, he appointed him (ij>o- 
crisiarius, whose duty was to guard the church treasury and 
receive the offerings of the faithful.^ So well did Maiolus 
perform this work that he was made librarian, an office for which 
he was well fitted. ' Having himself read the philosophers of 
old and the lies of Virgil, he no longer desired either to read them 
himself or to let others do so.' He was very urgent in exhorting 
the brothers not to pollute their minds with the lecherous 
eloquence of Virgil, and in reminding them that the divine 
word was sufficient for them.^ '' Indeed, he fulfilled his duties 
with such strictness and care that he was a terror to all 

He was already a leader among the monks when an event 
occurred which caused his merit to shine forth : Sent with a 
fellow-monk to Rome, on the return journey his companion fell 
ill. For three anxious days and nights Maiolus watched by the 
sufferer. At last in utter weariness he fell asleep,^ when he saw 
a white-haired old man who said : — 

' Why art thou cast down in idle grief ? Hast thou for- 
gotten what my brother James orders for the sick ? ' Awakening 
from sleep, he remembered the apostolic injunction, and rubbed 
his brother with holy oil. From that very moment the sick man 
began to recover. When this miracle was told at Cluny, the 
brothers held him in ever greater veneration, to his great dismay, 
for he wished to be despised rather than honoured. But the 
more he fled the praise of his fellows the greater grew their devo- 
tion end esteem.^ ' So having avoided vice, having risen from 
virtue to virtue, he reached through the quadrivium of obedience 
the supreme height of humility.' 

It was to Maiolus as successor that Aymardus looked when he 
felt his own strength fail : ' Maiolus distinguished in merit and 
nobility, excellent in dogma, generous of soul, known to princes, 

^ Udalricus, iii. 12, Consnet. Cliui.: Apocrisinnis est qui custodit erclesiae 
tremurum, et in cuius inanu est quidquid a popuhribus ad altaria offertur. 
2 VitaSyroA. U. 3 i^id. i. 15. 


revered by all.' ^ The monks were eager to hail him as pastor,^ 
but in accordance with the usual convention he at first refused, 
though the monks, prostrate on the ground, implored him to 
consent. Even after the monks, clerks, and the chief men of 
the district, with the common people of the country and of the 
town, had assembled at Cluny to hail him as father, Maiolus 
held to his decision for three days. Then worn out with anxiety, 
and wearied with much thought, he passed a sleepless night. 
At dawn a vision was vouchsafed him. A monk of beautiful 
face appeared and told him to accept the responsibility of office, 
in which he would be guided by God. Holding out a little book, 
' Here ', he said, ' you have a guide, act according to its pre- 
cepts.' He who spoke seemed to be none other than St. 
Benedict himself ! Strengthened hy this vision and throwing 
his care on the Lord, Maiolus hesitated no longer. Next day in 
the chapter, prostrate on the ground, he acknowledged that he 
had sinned by his refusal. Addressing the monks, he said : — 

' Oh, father and brothers, do not judge from my contumacy 
that through obstinacy of soul I refused to obey your command. 
Indeed I longed to accept the greatness of the office, the govern- 
ance of souls, but I was yet conscious of my weakness, and felt 
myself most unfit for the task. Hence my hesitation in obeying 
you, for I feared to be hurled to destruction under the weight 
of so great a responsibility. None knows another as himself, 
and if you but knew me as I know myself, you would not compel 
me to undertake this office. But as you urge and command me, 
I dare not say you nay. Now in Him who is able to srffooth 
rough places, to raise up heavy burdens, and to overthrow the 
adversary, I place my hope, and submit myself to your un- 
changed command.' ^ 

Aymardus then announced to the assembled nobles, bishops, 
pontiffs, and abbots that Maiolus was abbot. Great was the 

^ Ibid. ii. 1, 'Solum hunc esse ad id offitium idoneum affirmans.'' * Hunc 
clarum mentis, tunc nobilitate legendum, dogmate precipuum, generoso pectore 
primum,, principibus notum et nonnulla parte verendum. ' 

" Unus omnium consensus, nee dispar fuit effectus. ^ Ibid. i. 2. 


rejoicing and giving of thanks. The election was inscribed, the 
antiphon sung. Maiolus, amid the joy of all, was led into the 
church, received the benediction, and seated on the abbatial chair.^ 
The charter of election is dated 954, ^ but Aymardus' name, 
with the title of abbot, still appeared frequently in charters up 
to 956, less frequently from 956 to 960, after which date his 
name disappears till 965, when it is mentioned for the last time. 

It would be interesting to know, but in the absence of con- 
temporary records it is impossible to tell, what part Maiolus 
played in the social and political life of his time. He was 
known to princes, French kings, and Saxon emperors. 

Otto I., who married Adelheid of Burgundy (951), may first 
have heard of him from his wife, who venerated the abbot deeply.^ 
He was presented at the imperial court in Pavia at Otto's request, 
by a friend of the emperor, a wealthy nobleman of Pavia, who 
had left wife and children, renounced his richer and military 
career, and entered Cluny as a monk. The emperor kept Maiolus 
long at Pavia. ' He was the ear and depository of the imperial 
secrets : those who had any dealings with Otto seeking him out 
as intermediary.' * Definite proof of the imperial favour was 
seen when Otto appointed him abbot of St. ApoUinare in Classe, 
near Ravenna.^ The emperor also gave him a corticella in Italy, 
for it ' behoved him to cherish the church of God and thereby 
be sure of a temporal and eternal reward '.^ He made the gift 
at his wife's request, who also asked Maiolus to help with the 
building of St. Saviour's, Pavia."^ 

^ Vita Odilone, Electus advocatur, invifaius resfitit, rogatus c.ontrndicit, 
adiuratus tremiscit, interdictus quiescit. 

- Bruel, ii. 883, Clnnidcinn cum omnibus abbnliis, locis et cellis ordinandum 
iradinius. Et abbatem unanimiter omnes proclaviamus. Two bishops, one of 
whom was Mairabod of Macon, two abbots, and 132 monks were present at the 
signing of the charter. 

^ Vita Syro, ii. 21, Ac si ancillarum ultima, impendere cupiebat ei devotionis 
obsequia. * Ibid. -^ Ibid. ii. 22. 

8 Bruel, ii. 1143 {9(J2-973). 

" Vita Syro, ii. 22, Desudare coepit in fabrica. 


Maiolus is said to have foretold Otto's death. Once return- 
ing to Cluny he said, ' Last night as 1 slept I saw a mighty lion 
in a cage, burst through his chains. Of a surety this year Otto 
the Great will die.' Soon after a messenger arrived from 
Germany with the news of the emperor's death.^ 

The imperial favour continued under Adelheid and her son. 
Indeed, according to Sirius, they wished to nominate him to 
the papacy. ' He was summoned to Italy by Otto II. and his 
mother, who received him with the greatest veneration and 
urged him with insistent prayer to ascend the summit of the 
apostolic dignity.' ^ But he who sought lowliness rather than 
exaltation could in no wise be moved to that sublime ambition. 
He was unwilling to leave the little flock it had pleased Christ 
to put under him, preferring to ' live a life of poverty with Him 
who descended from the heights of Heaven to the lowliness of 
earth '. Imperial son and mother were so insistent that he asked 
time for consideration and betook himself to prayer. Rising 
from his knees he saw a New Testament lying near, and opened 
it, convinced that the first passage he lit on would reveal the will 
of God. It ran, 'See that no man deceive you through vain 
philosophy.' So, though whipped by the reiterated prayers of 
the emperor and his mother, he persisted in his decision. Finally 
to the imperial prayers were added those of the nobles and chief 
ecclesiastics. But Maiolus was firm, and with skilful prudence 
explained that (1) he had not the qualities required for such an 
honour, nor felt himself able to bear a responsibility so great 
that none should undertake it who felt himself unfit ; (2) he was 
unwilling to forsake his flock at Cluny and the monastic life ; ^ 
(3) he and the Romans being of different countries would agree 
very little in morihus. Therefore they must choose another 
pope, for he would never ascend the apostolic height nor leave 
the flock committed to his care. 

1 Ibid. iii. 10. ^ Ibid. iii. 8. 

^ Ibid., Pusillum gregem nolebat dimiitere quern Christo placuit sibi com- 



As the nomination is not mentioned in Odilo's life of Maiolus, 
nor elsewhere/ the accuracy of Sirius' information has been 
questioned. But in view of the fact that the Cluniacs have 
been represented by modern writers as zealously upholding and 
promulgating the strictest theocratic ideals, the way in which 
Sirius regarded the imperial ofier is really more important than 
the fact itself. Sirius did not criticise the validity of imperial 
interference in the papal election, nor was indignant at the 
papacy's being regarded as a sinecure determined by the imperial 
will. Such an attitude would have been out of keeping with 
the spirit of his age and order. Men had grown accustomed to 
the papacy's being regarded as a perquisite to be scrambled for 
by ambitious families. As a good Cluniac, his interests lay with 
the monastic order and its reform. But the incident served to 
glorify his master, and from that point of view he regarded it. 
He rejoiced that through humility his abbot could refuse such 
an honour and withstand the express command of the greatest 
prince of the world. Others, distinguished by neither know- 
ledge nor virtue, thrust themselves forward to gain high places, 
degrading themselves by bribery and simony to attain papal 
rank, Maiolus fled from earthly glory, and far from the world 
came the nearer to God. 

Though Maiolus had withstood the imperial will, not long 
after he acted as peace-maker between Otto and his mother. 
Otto II. had married a beautiful and gifted Greek, whose great 
influence over her husband may have aroused the jealousy of 
his mother. At any rate Adelheid was accused of being a menace 

^ Mabillon noted the omission, which he discounted partlj' on the some- 
what surprising argument that Odilo was avowedly writing a panegyric, not 
a biography : tlie more need, it would seem, to mention the proffered honour. 
Sackur like^ Mabillon accepts the story, Schulze rejects it, taking Odilo's 
silence as in itself criticism and proof of the story's falsity. His argument is 
weakened by the fact that Odilo, though he knew of Maiolus' championship 
of the empress, did not mention it in his Vita Maioli, though he did so in his 
Vita Adelheidi. Mabillon puts the date of the nomination 974, after Boniface 
VI. had been thrown into prison and strangled by the men of Francone, who 
became Boniface Vll. 


to the empire and was banished from the imperial councils. 
When the sunshine of the imperial favour was turned from her, 
none, not even those who owed their advancement to her, 
would risk defending her ; for this cowardice they gave the 
easy excuse that the imperial majesty must not be contradicted. 
Finally, Adelheid was banished from the kingdom, and took 
refuge with her brother, Conrad of Burgundy. 

But if all others forsook her, Maiolus stood by her, went 
to her, and comforted her. Then journeying to Pavia he sought 
out the emperor, and rebuked him for having forgotten that 
Christ, who deigned to subject Himself to His mother, com- 
manded men to honour their parents. In spurning his mother 
Otto had acted presumptuously, and had forgotten that God 
who raised him to his transitory dignity could also bring him 
down to the dust. At this rebuke the emperor ' moderated the 
flames of his fury and his ferocious wrath against his mother '. ^ 
Seeking out Adelheid he threw himself at her feet, and yielded 
to her as a son should ; the charge against her was investigated 
and was found to be false. When it was known how Maiolus had 
commanded where others had not dared even to plead, his fame 
grew, and the emperor honoured him more and. more. Probably 
about this time he again obtained the imperial ratification of 
Cluny's rights over Peterlingen. 

In 983 he was with the emperor at Verona and advised him 
against his Italian campaign. Taking Otto's hand, ' Open thine 
ear ', he said, ' to the counsel of Frater Maiolus, and return 
whence thou camest. For know of a surety that if thou goest 
against Rome, thou wilt never see another Christmas, but in 
Rome find thy sepulchre.' ^ 

The importance of Maiolus' name is also seen in an event 
which caused no small stir in monastic circles, and throws an- 

^ Vita Syro, iii. 9. An account of this incident in the Annales (978) 
Magdeburg is more matter of fact. When exiled Adelheid went to Lombardy, 
then to Burgundy. One party at court worked for her. Finally, Otto asked 
Conrad of Burgundy and Maiolus to effect a reconciliation, and met her at 
Pavia. 2 Ibid. iii. 10. 


interesting light on the Cluniac position, i.e. a disputed election 
at Fleury. A new abbot, Oilbold, had been appointed at the 
command of Lothair, king of the Franks. ^ As this was a 
flagrant infringement of their right of free election, several of 
the monks refused to recognise him. It is important to learn 
what part Maiolus as head of the Cluniac community took, and 
significant that the opposition that might have been expected 
to come from him, came instead from Gerbert.^ Gerbert, at 
that time abbot of Bobbio, wished to unite the monastic order 
under the leadership of Maiolus, to isolate Oilbold, and force 
him to leave Fleury. Maiolus, though he condemned Oilbold, 
was prepared to bow to the fait accompli, a passive attitude 
to Gerbert reprehensible and incomprehensible. The points at 
issue and the standpoint of the two men can be judged from 
Gerbert's letters to Maiolus and quotations from Maiolus' reply. 

Maiolus, as Gerbert knew, watched over his own flock with 
vigilant care, yet it would be a greater charity if he cured 
the disease of an alien flock ^ (i.e. the connection between Cluny 
and Fleury had evidently been allowed to drop). Gerbert 
was indignant at a reprobate's usurping what was almost the 
highest position in the monastic world. To let the scandal 
go uncorrected would encourage others to follow this example. 
If Maiolus kept silence who would speak ? The whole matter 
ought to be examined and sentence passed on Oilbold. If 
judged probus he should be recognised as abbot, if irnprobus 
cut off from fellowship with the monastic order and left to his 
own damnation. He was anxious to know Maiolus' opinion. 

What stirred him most keenly, Gerbert wrote to Edward, 
abbot of St. Julian's, Tours, was such a scandal having arisen 
at Fleury, that eminent monastery where of all places the rule 

^ Oilbold nd prelatiouem Floriarensinm fratruni ipsorum ehctione et regia 
principU Lothnirii ascendit donatione (Mirac. II. xviii. p. 121). 

^ Gerbert was educated <at Aurillao where Odo liad been abbot. He was 
afterwards Sylvester II. 

' Havet, Leilres de Gerbert, No. 69, Etsi vigilanti cura super lestro ijrege 
assidue occiipati eslis, propensioris est tatnen caritatis, si alieni gregis contagio 
interdum medemini. Fleury was reformed by Odo. 


ought to, have been most strictly kept. He begged Edward to 
take action. If leaders of the monastic order kept silence who 
would take upon himself to correct the evil ? ^ 

Maiolus' letter to Gerbert is lost, but Adalbero, archbishop 
of Rheims, who answered it at Gerbert's request, fortunately 
quotes from it.^ Maiolus had justified his non-intervention in 
the dispute by pointing out that Oilbold lived under a different 
ruler and in a different land from himself. This to Adalbero was 
merely begging the question. The fathers of the church had 
never regarded proceedings against heretics in any country as 
beyond their ken. The Catholic Church was one and indivisible 
throughout the world. Maiolus himself had said that Oilbold's 
audacity and ambition were detestable to all the faithful, yet, 
though admitting his guilt, he still communicated with him ! 
Others of the monastic world had cut him off from their fellow- 
ship. He begged Maiolus to do the same, and to let Oilbold feel 
the weight of his displeasure. Then all the Cluniac monks would 
be turned against him, and even those of the papal entourage 
might be influenced.^ Adalbero and his friends would gladly 
follow so revered a leader, and have nothing further to do with 
Oilbold (pervasor ac tarn probo improbo approbato), June- July 

The prospect of leadership did not move Maiolus : ' Though 
he wisely and rightly condemned Oilbold, he maintained that 
the dispute concerned him and Cluny very little.' 

His opinion in itself was sufficient to influence his co-abbots 
at Rheims. Writing to the recalcitrant monks at Fleury,* they 
expressed their deep sympathy with the injustice the monks had 
suffered, and condemned Oilbold. At first they had sinned by 
admitting him to their fellowship, but that was through ignorance. 
As soon as they learnt that Maiolus and Edward of Tours, ' those 
truest fathers and brightest stars in the church of God ', had 

1 Ibid. No. 80. 2 Ibid. No. 87. 

^ Ibid., Ac per vos, non solum quosque rehgiosos vestri ordinis sed etiam si 
fieri potest Romani pontificis se maledictis urgeri. * Ibid. No. 95. 


condemned him, they accepted their judgement, ' An non 
lucidissima stella reverendus pater Maiolus : an non prefulyidum 
sidus paler Edradus.^ 

Maiolus, as they learnt from his letter to Adalbero, had 
known Oilbold formerly, as notorious for the infamy of his life 
and beyond redemption in this world. He had promised to 
warn his neighbours against him, so that even if the scandal 
could not be blotted out, at least it would be known that Oilbold 
was cut off from the fellowship of the saints. The future must 
be left to itself. 

Edward of Tours had also condemned him, a decision from 
which he declared not even the chiefs of the church could make 
him swerve. He called on the latter to judge the case without 
fear or favour of the secular power. The abbots were ready to 
abide by the decision of these two illustrious men. 

' Take heed to these things,' the letter ended, ' oh comrades 
and fellow-soldiers. Withdraw yourselves, oh slieep of Christ, 
from him who is no shepherd, but a wolf ravening the sheep. 
He has not blushed to thrust himself forward, he who should 
have rather meekly effaced himself. Let him boast that by the 
favour of kings, princes, and dukes, he was set over the monks. 
Condemned by two such fathers as Maiolus and Edward he is 
cut off from our fellowship.' ^ 

There the matter seemed to have dropped. Closely bound 
as Fleury had once been to Cluny, Maiolus refused actively to 
intervene. The Cluniacs had a due respect for dignitaries, and 
Oilbold had been appointed by the king. For two years he 
retained his office, from which death alone removed him (988), 
when Fleury was freed from ' the mouth of the lion ' ^ — to 
Gerbert's outspoken joy. 

In 987 Maiolus made what was probably his last journey to 
Rome. On his way there he stayed at St. Michael's, Locedia, 
where he met the young William of Volpiano. From Locedia 

^ Careat nosiro consortia qui talium patrum dampnatur iudicio. 
- Ibid. No. 143. 


he went, to Pavia, and thence to Rome, where he consulted the 
pope about the reform and rebuilding of Ciel d' Oro.^ On his 
return from Rome he stopped again at Pavia, and then pro- 
ceeded to Locedia, where William of Volpiano begged to accom- 
pany him to Cluny. As abbot of St. Benigne's, Dijon, William 
became one of the most famous of the Cluniac alumni. 

From this point the Vita hastens on to an account of Maiolus' 
death.2 His was rather a pathetic figure in his latter years. As 
he mournfully pointed out, he had outlived his contemporaries 
and those religious men who had fought the good fight and did 
rest from their labours. His beloved books were his only con- 

He was eighty-four when he died. Two years before his 
death he felt his strength fail, and, assured that his call drew 
near, he retired either to Souvigny or to one of the smaller 
Cluniac houses. There he devoted his time to correcting the 
brothers, stimulating them to ever better life, and in reading 
and prayer gave himself wholly to God. In no way did he 
spare the weakness of his old age. He died when on his way to 
reform St. Denis, Paris, ' compelled by the too great impor- 
tunity of the king of the Franks '. 

He set out, not ignorant that his death was near, but glad 
to end his days in doing a good work. He did not get far. 
At the little monastery of Souvigny (Auvergne) he fell ill. He 
rejoiced that the hour of his death had come,^ but deep and 
profound was the sorrow of the brothers, and one the voice of 
weeping which arose. To the last his members remained free 
and unimpaired. With beautiful face, sound hearing, sane 
memory, and freedom from disease and blot, he advanced to 
his immortal reward. He had nothing to grieve over, he told 
the questioning brothers ; he regarded all things quietly and 

1 Bihl Clun. p. 1775; of. charter of John XV. 

2 Vita Syro, iii. 19. The beautiful simplicity of Sirius' account is missed 
in the more ornate versions of the other lives. 

^ Ibid. iii. 19, Nihil se habere molestiae sed omnia quieta et tranquilla 
perspicere et vi^ere bona Dei in terra viventium. 


tranquilly, had no pain, and saw all things good in the earth 
for those who worked with God. Asked to whom he would 
commit his flock, he answered that they would have Christ, 
the Great Shepherd, as their protector.^ Prostrate on the 
ground the brothers besought his prayers, confident that one so 
dear to God could obtain whatever he asked for. He gave them 
absolution, then ceased from common speech, though ever and 
anon he repeated little verses — ' Lord, Lord, I have loved Thy 
house,' etc. Then raising his eyes to heaven he signed himself 
with the sign of the Cross, whispering to himself till his breath 

The monks who had accompanied him wished to carry his 
body to Cluny. Against this the monks of Souvigny protested. 
Finally the inhabitants of the vill forcibly prevented his body 
being removed. He was therefore buried in the church of St. 
Peter, and Souvigny from being a small monastery became a 
centre of pilgrimage. Many were the miracles worked at his 

^ Nevertheless according to a charter he had appointed Odilo abbot. Bruel 
iii. 1965, Clun. cui domnus reverentissimus pater Odilo freest, iussione sci 
palris Maioli (993-4). 



Under Maiolus Cluny stood in the forefront of the reform. 
Her abbot was one of the best-known of the monastic leaders : 
' the brightest star in the monastic firmament ', that ' archangel 
of monks '. 

At his warning many renounced their possessions and gave 
themselves to the regular discipline. An innumerable multitude 
gathered under him from every part of the world. Of different 
race and tongue they were yet so united that in them were 
fulfilled the words of the apostle, ' There was one heart and mind 
among them '. Their pastor, watching over them with zealous 
care, rejoiced in the increase of his flock and in their zeal for 
their work. He corrected the discipline of the regular life which 
had fallen away by the negligence of old. He watched his 
flock with skilful care, and even in this life merited to see the 
fruits of his labours. Many monasteries which had left the 
straight path were corrected by him and by his monks, many 
of whom he appointed abbots. He rejoiced greatly that those 
whom he had trained were accounted worthy to rule in their 

Cluny was ' especially dear ' to pope John XIII. Writing 
to the bishops of Aries, Lyons, Vienne, Clermont, Valence, 
Besan9on, Macon, Chalons, Lerins, Viviers, Avignon, Geneva, 
Lausanne, Le Puy, to them as the light of the world and the salt 
of the earth, he commended Cluny with the houses under it. 

^ Vita iSyro, ii. 6. 


As faithful lovers of St. Peter he begged them to defend the 
monastery. If any one, however powerful, attacked Cluniac 
property the bishops were to excommunicate him until restitu- 
tion was made. The bishop of Clermont, for instance, was to 
excommunicate one of his fideles who had taken land from 
Sauxillanges if he refused to restore it. The pope specially 
commended Cluny to the bishop of Macon, its near neighbour, 
asked him to give ' swifter aid ' to the brothers in their necessity, 
and to protect them. They had always loved him and desired 
his love.^ 

Neither Odo nor Aymardus had attempted to bind the 
reformed monasteries to Cluny. When Maiolus became abbot 
only five of them were subject to Cluny : i.e. Romainmoutier, 
Carus Locus (Charlieu), Sauxillanges, and two monasteries in 
Macon. The policy of building up an organised system of 
dependent houses, looking to Cluny as head, was only defi- 
nitely undertaken by Maiolus' successors, Odilo and Hugh, 
though under Maiolus the tentative beginning of the system 
may be seen. Several monasteries were placed under him. 
In 958 Conrad, king of Burgundy, gave Cluny St. Amand's, 
St. Paul-Trois-Chateaux,^ and two years later at his mother's 
request Lothair of Gaul confirmed the gift.^ 

Four years later Maiolus received Peterlingen, situated in the 
Juras, and the first Cluniac monastery on German soil.^ Founded 
by Bertha, queen of Burgundy, she did not live to see it com- 
pleted, but bequeathed to it all her property in that district. 
She was buried there. Her daughter, the empress Adelheid, 
completed her mother's work. Both she and her brother, 
king Conrad, gave land to Peterlingen, Conrad granting the 
monks an alod with the right of minting ^ (963), and later Crottas, 
with mill and all belonging to it.^ The Ottos gave several 
charters to Peterlingen.'^ Protected by the great, the monastery 

1 Migne, 135, p. 990. - Bruel, ii. 1052. ^ jbjj. ii. 1067. 

* Bouquet, ix. 667. ^ Bruel, ii. 1127. e jbj^j jj 1150 

" Di.plomnfn Ottonis II., Mon. Germ. Hist. ii. No. 51. Maiolus with all 


flourished, and its abbots in time gained much property in Alsace, 
Colmar, and Huttenheim. 

St. Saviour's, Pavia, founded by the empress Adelheid, 
adorned with ornaments and richly endowed, was given by 
her to Maiolus. John XIII. in a charter addressed to Adelheid 
took St. Saviour's under the papal protection (972), and declared 
it free from all other authority, ecclesiastical or secular. Free- 
dom of election was assured to the monks, who could receive 
ordination and the chrisma from any bishop the abbot chose. 
Bishops were never to demand tenths. Baptism could be cele- 
brated in the monastery's chapels.^ Ten years later (982) 
Otto II. confirmed St. Saviour's privileges, rights, immunities, 
and possessions, at Adelheid's request.^ The monks could choose 
an abbot from another monastery if they wished. Monks leav- 
ing their own monasteries and wishing to enter St. Saviour's 
were to be received only if the brothers of St. Saviour's 
consented. St. Saviour's had already two monasteries under 
it. As Cluny is not mentioned in either of these charters, 
it must have been given to Maiolus after the date of the 

The Cluniacs held another house in Pavia, the gift of a priest 
(967). He bought the chapel of the Virgin and St. Michael 
with much land from an imperial judge and his wife, and gave it 
the same day to Maiolus on condition that it was ' constituted 
a monastery for men '. Maiolus was to send monks there, and the 
new monastery, which was richly endowed, was to be always 
subject to Cluny. ^ The old Lombard capital was an important 

the congregation of brothers came before the emperor at Aachen, 973, and 
asked him to confirm his father's charter to Peterlingen. He did so and 
confirmed its possessions in Alsace, etc., which with the monastery were to be 
held in security under the imperial defence : sub nostra tuitonis immunitate . . . 
libere et securiter. In 983 at Verona, at the request of his mother and his wife, 
Otto again confirmed Cluny's rights over Peterlingen. 

1 Mon. Germ. Hist. i. 307. 

2 Mon. Germ. Hist., Sickel, i. 281. 

^ ii. 1229. The charter of sale and the charter of donation to Cluny are 
dated the same day : Constitutum wonasterium virorum. 


centre for Cluniac influence, for Pavia, likened to Tyre and Sidon, 
was still a cosmopolitan town to which thronged men of every 
nationality and tongue.^ 

In his first visit to Rome as abbot (probably 967) Maiolus 
went to St. Paul's, ' the house of the celebrated Doctor ', re- 
formed by Odo.2 He found only a few poverty-stricken monks 
there whose necessities he supplied and whose customs he 
corrected. It was from St. Paul's that later the ashes of St. 
Peter and Paul were sent to Cluny for safety.^ At Pavia he 
restored Ciel d' Oro, which was almost entirely in ruins.* Also 
in Italy a priest gave land, fields, vineyards, waters, pasture, 
on condition that the senior es of Cluny built a place (locus) there, 
where monks in return were to instruct his nephew in letters 
and make him a monk. The priest was to be dominator and 
rector of all the land he had given till his death, when the whole 
reverted to Cluny (966).^ He made the gift remembering that 
it was written, ' Make friends with the Mammon of unrighteous- 
ness', * Lay up for yourselves treasure in Heaven ' : not wishing to 
hear the words, ' Depart into eternal fire ', but rather, ' Come ye 
blessed of my Father '. 

Another priest, remembering the injunction to give alms, 
grateful to God for having preserved him from poverty, hoping 
to escape the devil's dark pit, and to reign in that Heaven where 
there is no terror, nor illness, nor hunger, nor sin, gave part of 
his hereditary possessions to the priory of St. Andrew's, Rosans, 

^ Bibl. Clii7i. \). 1775, Vila Maioli Anony.: Pavia quae muliiplicibus popu- 
loriim referta txrhis nobilixivi et diversannn mercium speciebus insignis, quasi 
quaedam l^yrus et JSydon videtur remanisse, quibus complacet ad sui mercimonii 
coni2)arationem et venditioneiu venire. 

- Vita Syro, ii. 17. Cf. Peter Daniiani, Opaisculum, xxxiii. 8. 

^ Bibl. Clitn. p. aCO, Tandem seditionis urbe iurbata motibus . . . malis 
urgeiilibus monnchi discedentes vas illud aposlolicorum cinerum sacra sectiw 
pignora detuleriint sicque Cluniacuni j^^opere pervenerunt. 

* Vita Maioli S algoldo, iii. 22, Monasterium . . . rollnpsum paene fuerat in 
rniuam, reslanravil ad unguem. Cf. Anony. cap. 18. 

^ Ibid. 1200, Ac nepoteni nieuni litter is inibuantet monachum facia nt : . . . Ego 
donator vester, qnamdiu dominator et rector his rebus sim, secundum Deum et 
ad voluntatem meam omnia habeam. 


which he subjected to Cluny. He begged Maiolus to send 
virtuous monks from his own congregation to the priory (988).^ 
In Italy also St. Apollinare in Classe Ravenna had earlier been 
put under Maiolus (p. 105). 

Outside Italy, an important monastery to come under Cluny 
was Paray, founded by Lambert, son of the viscount Robert 
(973), on a site chosen by Maiolus. Paray was richly endowed, 
and monks sent to it from Cluny. Four years later (977) 
the church was consecrated with great pomp, three bishops 
officiating.^ In 976, on condition that he and his monks built 
a monastery and sent monks there, a man and his wife gave 
Maiolus Mons Rompons, with its two churches, land, woods, 
meadows, pasture, rivers, fountains, waters, streams, and twelve 
serfs.^ In 978 a similar gift came from the archbishop of Lyons, 
who, feeling his death draw near, gave Cluny ten vills in 
Nimiasus where the monks were to build a small cella. In 
return he begged to be mentioned in their prayers, ' for he had 
loved them before all their fellows '.* In the same year Maiolus 
begged the pope to give Cluny the island of Lerins which, by the 
decree of Gregory the Great, belonged to the papal jurisdiction. 
In 410 a monastery for men and a convent for women had been 
founded at Lerins by Honoratus. Attacked by the Saracens the 
monks and nuns had been driven away. They returned and 
lived in security for some time, many withdrawing themselves 
to live as hermits in solitary parts of the island. The Cluniacs 
were to pay from Lerins five solidi annually to Rome.^ At the 
request of the saintly bishop, Bruno of Langres, Maiolus reformed 

^ Ibid. iii. 1784, Deum, et redemptoreni meum glorificans, qui mihi corpus 
et animam gratuita pietate concessit et me nonnullis subsidiis humanae paupertaiis 

2 Chronicle of Paray-Je-Monial ; cf. Bruel, iii. 2484. Paray, with its Avonderful 
old church built, though on a smaller scale, on the model of Cluny's, is now the 
centre of pilgrimage for the cult of the Sacred Heart. 

3 Ibid. ii. 1434. 

* Ibid. ii. 1450, Concedo quasdam res meae adquisitionis, quas propria 
mea adquisivi substantia. 

^ Bouquet, ix. p. 245. In the fifth century Lerins became famous as a 
school of theology, and many of its sons became the bishops of southern Gaul. 


St. Benigne's, Dijon. ^ The bishop, distressed at the decadence 
of the once famous monastery, and having heard much of the 
holy lives of the monks of Cluny, visited Maiolus to ask his help. 
Maiolus sent to St. Benigne's twelve of the most perfect of his 
monks, ' wise in holy discipline, learned in human and divine 
wisdom, noble according to human rank ', with William of 
Volpiano over them. Owing to William's great merits and skilful 
administration the renown of the abbey was restored, and it 
stood an example to all and a new centre of learning. 

Another famous monastery reformed by Maiolus was St. 
Maur des Fosses. ^ Favoured by kings of old it had passed to 
the Robertian house, under which its condition was worse than 
any other monastery in the kingdom. Its lands were lost by 
careless abbots, and its monks lacked even the necessaries of 
life. The abbot at this time, a man of very noble family, placed 
the interests of the world before those of soul and spirit. When 
he went out hunting, a sport he delighted in, he would strip off 
his habit, and clothe himself in costly skins, nay more, he 
covered what ought to have been his humble head with the 
finest calamantium. His monks followed his example as far 
as their means allowed, nor did this seem specially reprehensible, 
seeing the other monks in the kingdom did the same.^ At last 
a hermit heard of the state of affairs and protested to Burchard, 
count of Paris, a noble whose many services and great valour 
had advanced him far in the royal favour. He asked the king 
to let him take over the monastery. The latter hesitated to 
give up what had belonged to his house for so long : also he was 
afraid that on Burchard's death his heirs might claim St. Maur's 
to the infinite prejudice of the monks — a sin for which he would 
be held responsible. When Burchard explained that he wished 
to hold the monastery only till it was reformed, the king consented. 
Now in those days the fame of Maiolus had spread throughout 

^ Bibl. Clun. p. 2i)S, Ex chronico S. Bongni J)lri())iensi^. 

- Ibid., Ex Vita Burchardi Comitis Paris. 

^ Ibid., Hie nios a cunctis monachis istius rcgni agebatur. 


all Gaul. To him Burchard proceeded. Arrived at Cluny, 
Maiolus, true to his reputation for humility, prostrated himself 
before the count and asked why he had come so long a journey. 
When he heard the reason he pointed out that the count would 
have done better to go to one of the many monasteries in Gaul. 
It was difficult for him to leave Cluny for such distant and 
unknown regions. Only after Burchard had thrown himself 
again and again on the ground did Maiolus consent to go. Then 
taking with him the most virtuous of the brothers he started for 
St. Maur's. Arrived at the river near the monastery Burchard 
called on the monks to cross. He then told them that those who 
were ready to obey Maiolus in all things might return to St. 
Maur's. The rest must disperse where they pleased, ' taking 
nothing with them '. The most of them chose rather to follow 
the way of their hearts than to submit to Maiolus' strict discip- 
line. The former abbot went to St. Maur's, Glanfeuil, where, 
as he was of noble birth, he was made abbot, and remained there 
till his death. 

Maiolus brought St. Maur's back to the strict observance of 
the rule, ' permitting no point to be passed over '. He had 
Hugh Capet's and Burchard' s help for the material welfare of 
the monks. He then returned to Cluny, entrusting the adminis- 
tration of the house to one of his monks. Time passed, and as 
Maiolus did not return, king Hugh and his son Robert, at 
Burchard' s suggestion, appointed this monk abbot. This 
caused the monks at Cluny to sorrow greatly, for they had 
meant to hold St. Maur's as a dependent house {ad cellam 

At the request of Odo of Champagne and his wife Ermengard, 
Maiolus reformed Maior Monasterium, to which he sent thirteen 
Cluniac monks. ^ So great was the sanctity of their lives that 
the king heard of them, and having obtained the papal consent, 

1 BibL Clun. p. 296, Author. Gestorum ahhatmri Maioris-Monasterii anvo 
1494: Maiolus qui inter cetera suae sanctitatis indicia, monasterium quod est 
iuxta nrbew Turonicam ah Hunis eversum ad pristivum rerocarit staivm. 


suggested to count Odo that one of the thirteen should be 
appointed abbot, and the monastery declared independent of 
Cluny. Royal and papal privileges were granted and the monas- 
tery declared the special child of Rome, and subject neither to 
church, archbishop, bishop, nor abbot. 

To the Cluniacs this was a disappointment and a loss. Maiolus 
proceeded to Maior Monasterium to protest. He was received 
by the monks with honour and dutifully served as a reverend 
father. Next day he addressed the thirteen Cluniac monks. 

' Alien sons,' he said, ' why have you lied to me and Cluny 
your Mother, who trained you in the delights of virtue ? Why 
have you alienated yourselves ? ' 

On the advice of their abbot, the monks kept silent with 
prudent simplicity. Maiolus then vehemently reproached the 
abbot for having led the brothers into error and ambitiously 
usurped the ius of Cluny. The abbot, but lately consecrated 
and a man of wonderful simplicity, replied : 

' Be not indignant, oh lord abbot, with these thy servants. 
If any can be said to be in fault it is not ourselves, but the pope 
and king to whose command we bowed. We could not do 
otherwise. Indeed, as can be read in authentic books, from 
the days of St. Martin, abbots (not priors) have always ruled 
over the monastery. What is done cannot be undone. Your 
holiness, oh beloved father, must consider whether the statutes 
of the highest and universal pope ought or ought not to stand.' ^ 

Maiolus saw the point and acquiesced. Though bewailing 
that the house beloved of St. Martin should be lost to Cluny, he 
declared it free and immune from his yoke and authority.^ The 
monks were to have the right of choosing their own abbot. 
St. Martin's was thus restored to its original dignity. 

' Thid., f'Inim .siimnii H nnircrsalis papae statiita .^tare debeant. 

- Ibid., A iiujo et subjeclione. Cliiniarl . . . cmancipetur. The above is an 
interesting example of the feeling (which modern writers have overlooked) 
which grew up against Cluniac policy. As a contemporary record it is, however, 
suspect, as tlie story comes from a fifteenth-century nmnuscript. 


The goodwill of early days between Cluny and the neigh- 
bouring bishops continued when Maiolus was abbot, and took 
concrete form in donations of ecclesiae and land. 

In 962 Odo, bishop of Macon, gave Cluny six churches, their 
tenths and property, reserving only the eulogiae and synodal 
service. Neither he nor his servants were ever to require hos- 
pitality from the monks, nor any dues. If any one asked why 
he alienated so many churches from the cathedral at one time, 
the answer was that their beneficia belonged to Cluny. ^ In 982 
John, bishop of Macon, exchanged lands with the monks,^ and 
six years after Milo, bishop of Macon, gave them an altar e. In 
967 Burchard, archbishop of Lyons, gave Cluny a church and 
tenths,^ and later land on which a small monastery was to be 
built. He asked Maiolus to grant him Cluniac property, not 
that he wished to deprive St. Peter of it, but that he might 
guard it from evil men. On his death it would be restored to 
Cluny with any improvements made. He promised in return to 
stand Cluny's adiutor, defensor, custos et advocatus^ His suc- 
cessor Milo, with the consent of his canons, gave Maiolus two 
churches, their tenths, and all belonging to them, but reserving to 
himself synodal service, paratae and eulogiae (981).^ The bishop 
of Chalon confirmed to Cluny, ' casting no envious eye on the 
gift ', land and a house which one of his archdeacons had built 
at his own expense, and according to his own skill. He did this 
the more gladly because he had heard tell of the glory with which 
God had exalted Maiolus, that great man arisen as a star over 
Gaul, to the admiration of the century and for the example of all.^ 

From Walter, bishop of Autun, Maiolus received two deeds 
of gift. In 983 the monks begged him to increase their daily 
dole from churches in his diocese and their obedientiae, where 
they daily said mass. The bishop made inquiries, and finding' 
the request just granted them tenths from the churches in 
question to provide for their daily food (ad sustentandos suorum 

1 Ibid. ii. 1139. ^ jbid. ii. ig20, anno 982. » ibid. ii. 1227. 

* Ibid. ii. 1508. » Ibid. ii. 1553. " ^ jbid. ii. 1537. 


cotidianos victus). He did this the more willingly knowing that 
God had greatly favoured Cluny in the past, and that the brothers 
flourished in nobility as of old, worthily upholding the standard 
of their order, which he hoped would not be lowered in his time.^ 
In 993, because the congregation of Cluny had always been 
joined to him in special love and had kept alive the true religion 
of God, he granted the monks six churches and their tenths, to 
be held as long as they celebrated divine office there. They were 
to pay no dues except synodal eulogiae. Neither the bishop nor 
his successors were to ask hospitality or housing from them. 
He made the gift fro signo societatis that alive or dead he and 
they might participate in each other's good deeds. ^ From a 
bishop Hector, Maiolus received half a church with half its 
presbiteratus (969).^ Seven years later the bishop's brother gave 
Cluny the church in its entirety.* 

Not long after he became abbot Maiolus gave part of his own 
and his brother's hereditary possessions in precaria to Arnulf, 
bishop of Apt, in whose diocese they lay : i.e. nine vills and a 
locus won in conquest by his grandfather and father : also an 
alod which his grandfather had bought. The bishop was to pay 
Cluny five solidi annually, and on his death the property with 
any improvements he had made reverted to the monastery.^ 

It is difficult to remain aloof from the evils of the day, and 
Maiolus ' with the consent of his monks ' is to be found giving 
several Cluniac churches in precaria to laymen. To one man 
and his wife he gave a church with tenths, oblations, dues for 
burial, gifts in kind, and other dues. The recipients gave in 
return a curtilus with house, vineyard, three fields, and a meadow. 
On their death and that of their two sons the church reverted 
to Cluny.^ Another church was given in precaria to a man and 
his wife who paid in vestitura one colonica with fields, vineyards, 
meadows, woods, and waters.'^ Another man who had willed 
property to Cluny was given half an ecclesia with half the 

1 Ibid. ii. 1028. 2 ji^i^i jij 1947 3 n^j^i jj 1271. 4 Ibid. ii. \4'2\). 
^ Ibid. ii. 1071. «i Ibid. ii. 912. ■ Ibid. ii. 920. 


preshilerqlus. He was to pay in vestitura half the returns from three 
vineyards belonging to the jpreshiteratus. At his death the church 
reverted to Cluny.^ To another man and his son Maiolus granted 
for life a church with everything belonging to it : fields, woods, 
waters, and tenths. They were to pay in vestitura eight denarii 
for lighting.^ A noble clerk, very dear to the monks, asked and 
was given in usufruct a vill belonging to Cluny, with its church, 
for which he was to pay annually five solidi denarii. After his 
death the vill and church, with any improvements he had made, 
reverted to Cluny. ^ Another priest asked and was given for life 
a church with tenths, oblations, burial dues, food dues, and all 
else belonging to it. In return he gave a curtilus with vineyard 
and house, and four fields in a vill, in which he reserved one 
vineyard in usufruct. He also agreed to work in the vineyard 
and labour in the fields for the brothers like any homo externus^ 
Two instances of sale are mentioned : (1) three brothers sold to 
Maiolus ^ and his monks a chapel, for which they received 30 
solidi ; (2) a priest, ' compelled by need ', sold a church in 
Vienne with its property to the illustrious and famous Maiolus 
and the other lords of Cluny. He received the stipulated price 
of 100 solidi for it.^ In another case Maiolus gave a church and 
its lands to a woman and her four sons, who gave three churches 
with their lands, tenths, and presbiteratus in exchange.'^ 

Occasionally Cluniac land was given in precaria. A clerk 
asked and obtained property of St. Peter's : i.e. manors, vine- 
yards, fields, meadows, woods, waters, serfs in various districts 
(all the gift of one donor to Cluny), and ten other manors. He 
was to pay 24 denarii annually in vestitura, and after his death 
the whole returned to Cluny .^ A man, his wife and son, were 
given two vills and serf&. Maiolus held in vestitura one serf, his 
wife, children, and the manor where they lived. When one of 

1 Ibid. ii. 1271. ^ jbid. ii. 1501. ^ Ibid. ii. 1073. 

4 Ibid. ii. 1529. ■' Ibid. iii. 1859. 

^ Ibid. ii. 900, rrevit mihi volvnias et qnodcmnnodo compulit necessitas. 

' Ibid. iii. 1933. « Ibid. ii. UfiO 


the three recipients died, half the property was to revert to 
Cluny ; on the death of all three the whole.^ Another man and 
his wife were given three manors and half a church in one of 
the manors. The other half with its presbiteratus the monks 
held in vestitura? In one case of exchange of land the dimensions 
were carefully given. The field Maiolus gave was 16 poles long, 
and on one front 4 poles, on the other 3. The field he received 
was 36 poles, 4 feet long, 4 at one end, 3| at the other. It was 
bounded on three sides by St. Peter's land, and on the fourth 
by the donors'.^ To another man, his wife and illegitimate son, 
Maiolus gave a vill. If a legitimate son was born it was to pass 
to him, but if the illegitimate son had a legitimate son the 
latter inherited. On the latter's and the parent's death, the vill 
reverted to Cluny. The monks, however, retained the church 
of the vill, its presbiteratus, tenths, land, and a female serf with 
her children. 

Of the 1372 charters which cover the period that Maiolus 
was abbot the majority record deeds of gift from the laity. Of 
these the majority deal with donations of land, especially of 
vineyards. Gifts of churches are as yet comparatively few : 
thirty -four churches and chapels and half of six churches were 
given, and two bought. 

Several charters recorded the gift of a church, and then 
stated that the donor was to hold it for his lifetime, e.g. the 
chapel of St. Columba was given to Cluny with everything belong- 
ing to it, vineyards, meadows, plains, woods, waters, apple trees, 
tenths, and serfs. During his lifetine the donor was to hold it 
in usufruct, and to pay Cluny annually four denarii, or wax to 
that amount. On his death it reverted to Cluny.* In another 
case a donor gave half an ecclesia which he was to hold for life, 

^ Ibid. ii. 1064. 

- Ibid. ii. 1088 (anno 960). The charter is signed by Maiolus percaior 
et humilis abba et Hei/niardus abba. 

^ Ibid. ii. 1463. The last clause is curious. Et terminatnr a mane terra 
sancti Petri a medio die via publica, a sero ad, ipsiun Arleum a cercio similiter. 

* Ibid. ii. 1008. 


and pay, the monks annually six denarii in vestitura. In return 
he and his wife were to have part in the society of Cluny.^ A 
father and son gave three churches, with tenths, parochial dues, 
and presbiteratus, the third to be held in vestitura during their 
lifetime. Another gave a church with fields, waters, mills, meal, 
all of which he held for life. He paid at once in vestitura the 
tenths of the church. ^ Another man and his wife gave a 
church, its tenths and land, which they were to hold in usufruct 
for life. They received twelve solidi (which they promised to 
repay in four years). ^ 

A donor who felt the end of his life approach, remembering 
the promise that all the world would be theirs who gave alms, 
gave a church to Cluny, with tenths, fields, meadows, woods, 
vineyards, and waters. He was to hold the whole till his death, 
paying annually in vestitura a measure of grain and one of wine.* 

The donations of land sometimes gave rise to disputed claims, 
which were usually settled at the monastery. Sometimes the 
abbot would plead his case or lodge his complaint before the 
local magnate, e.g. Maiolus, Hildebrand, and two monks before 
count Alberic at Macon proclaimed a man who held property 
belonging to St. Peter, i.e. vills, land, and half a church.^ The 
actores of Cluny before count Leobald and his retainers pro- 
claimed a man and his wife for seizing a manor and its church, 
which the latter claimed as theirs by hereditary right. But 
moved by the fear of God and love of St. Peter, or perhaps by 
the advice of the count and his men, they gave up the property.^ 
Before the famous count Hugh and his mother, Vivian, the prior, 
and three monks of Cluny proclaimed a woman and her sons for 
unjustly holding property left to the monks. The offenders 
admitted their offence and promised that neither they nor their 
heirs would cause further trouble (nausiam)^ Before counti 
Lambert, a man, whom the monks had often proclaimed and 
complained of for having despoiled one of their chapels, swore 

1 Ibid. ii. 1189. ^ Ibid. ii. 1433. ^ jbid. ii. 1325. " Ibid. ii. 1049. 
5 Ibid. ii. 1087. « Ibid. ii. 1037. ' Ibid. iii. 1789. 


that neither he nor his relatives would attack the possessions of 
the chapel, great or small. ^ 

One offender came before archbishop Teubald ' as he sat in 
council surrounded by many monks, clerks, laymen, the missus 
indominicatus of the king, and many other men of the best 
testimony '. Before this august assembly he promised that he 
and his wife would no longer exact the dues and customs which 
they had unjustly taken from land given to abbot Berno in the 
past, and since then held by Cluny.^ 

Nor were the monks afraid to defend their rights against the 
great. Vivian, the prior, with other monks of Cluny made 
known before count Hugh that he and his father had unjustly 
taken dues from a vill which belonged to them. The count, 
having consulted his retainers, found that the holy brothers were 
right. He ordered a notice to be written to Cluny that neither 
he nor his, in the present or the future, would exact dues or 
services from the free men (francis hominibus)^ and the serfs 
livmg in the vill, nor build houses there. ^ 

The bishop of Riez had been at strife with the monks over 
tenths of the church of Valensolle, which they claimed in virtue 
of their labour there, and over land which he demanded in* 
the name of the church's endowment. The bishop came to the 
church and on the holy relics contained in the image of St. Peter 
gave up his claim to all, not only to dues which were admittedlv 
unjust, but to others to which he seemed to have some claim.^ 

Several charters show the hold which the monks had over 
the consciences of their fellow-men. In one case Maiolus, w^ho 
had thought of excommunicating a man for the innumerable 
evil deeds he had committed against Cluny, made him instead 
responsible for guarding and defending certain obedientiae, thus 
giving him an opportunity of making reparation for his sins. 
He was not to levy any dues or customs from the said obedientiae. 
If he happened to be passing through them, accompanied by not 
more than sixteen soldiers, and the monks voluntarily invited 

^ Ibid. ii. 1249. - Ibid. ii. UIH. ^ Ibid. iii. 1794. ■> Ibid. iii. 18G6. 


him and his men to refection, he might accept, on condition that 
he left immediately afterwards. This charter was signed by 
Albericiis, who praised the decision. For the love of God a 
woman gave up the quarrel and ill-will she had cherished against 
the monks about an alod, thereby offending the apostles Saints 
Peter and Paul. To be reconciled with them she withdrew her 
claim to the alod, although it had been part of her dowry, and 
promised that no son, daughter, nor relative of hers would 
dispute her deed.^ In another case, for many days and months 
the monks sued a man for keeping property left to Cluny by will. 
Before Vivian, the prior, and many others the accused at length 
made restitution, hoping thereby to obtain St. Peter's pardon. 
Indeed, the conflict between the monks with the eternal powers 
behind them, and the laymen with their terror of those 
powers, was not an equal one, e.g. a man who for long had dis- 
puted Cluny's right to a church gave up his suit because his 
wife had died and he wished her to have Christian burial. One 
generous donor gave all his possessions to Cluny on condition 
that the monks provided him with clothing as long as he lived, 
^ for a gift to God is repaid a hundredfold '. Another donor 
'gave Cluny all he possessed — quite a considerable amount of 
property — and went out into the world with nothing. If he or 
any of his heirs repudiated his gift they were to pay a fine. One 
case was settled by arbitration. Pasture-land left the monks by 
will was claimed by another heir. Judgement was given that the 
disputants should share the land in question. In another case 
an offender, with great temerity, presumed to set up a claim to 
a right of way leading from Cluny to the Grosne, and to the mill 
of a vill. The monks satisfied his claims by giving him a horse 
worth 40 solidi. In one charter a priest explained that he had 
bought houses (costing 210 solidi) inside the cloister of St. Mary's 
Le Puy. They had been burnt down, and it had cost him great 
labour and expense to have them rebuilt. He evidently felt 

1 Ibid. ii. 1496, Si aliquam, rationem in ipso alodo habeo per dofnlium qvod 
mihi senior mens fecit. 


that they would be safer under St. Peter's protection and gave 
them to Cluny on condition that he and a nephew held them 
for life. A father gave part of his lands to Cluny — a curtilus 
and a vineyard — on condition {ea ratione) that his son should be 
received by the monks and with them serve God for all time. 
Another donor, who gave two coloniae, laid the following curse 
on any one who disputed the gift : ' Let the anger of God and all 
the saints come upon him, and all the curses of the New Testa- 
ment. Let him be cursed in the town and cursed in the field ; 
cursed in his going out and cursed in his coming in ; cursed in 
the fruit of his body and cursed in the fruit of his ground. Let 
God cut him off with incurable disease, let his enemies persecute 
him till he. perish from the face of the earth, and all his sub- 
stance be reduced to nothing. Let his part be with Dathan and 
Abiram, with Judas who betrayed the Lord, and with those who 
have said to the Lord God, Depart from us.' ^ 

Several charters might be quoted in disproof .of the state- 
ment that no one but a monk could enter the chapter (capitulum,), 
e.g. a soldier who had quarrelled with the monks about an alod 
came to see the home of the apostles. Before his departure he 
attended the council held in the chapter, ^ was reconciled with 
the brothers, and withdrew his claim to the alod. 

Most of the charters frankly state the reason of the gift and 
the quid pro quo expected. Thus William, the famous count 
who trembled when he thought of the day of judgement, made 
a donation of land to St. Peter's, Cluny, because to St. Peter 
was given the power to bind and loose. He expected the apostle 
to free him from his many sins, that he might merit to hear the 
joyful words, ' Come ye blessed of My father.' 

The preamble of many of the charters runs : ecclesiastical 
authority and Roman law have ordered that any one making a 
donation of property should do so by will, in order to make the 
transfer legal. 

1 Ibid. ii. 1430. 
" Secundum morem monasterii in constituto capitnlo. 




In Maiolus was fulfilled the ideal of the monastic character. 
His was a meditative, spiritual, almost mystical temperament. 
Less virile than Odo, he possessed those qualities of gentleness, 
humility, and self-effacement which rank so high in the monastic 
virtues. His love of peace, solitude, and prayer, his refusal of 
high office in the secular church, his dislike of public praise, 
gained him a reputation for sanctity above that of his fellows. 
The good he did he did in secret to avoid the occasion of vain- 
glory, yet because he shunned the praise of men it followed him 
the more. 

Odilo described his appearance. He was dignified in his 
bearing, cheerful in manner, angelical of face, serene in expression, 
possessed a beautiful voice, and was eloquent of speech. His 
every movement was graceful, and to Odilo he seemed ' of all 
men most beautiful '.^ 

In Maiolus we meet again that ' sweet religion of tears ', to 
Renan a characteristic of the early Christian church. At the 
end of a journey, in whatever house he happened to be, he 
retired to a secret corner, where, alone and unobserved, he 
might join his soul to God. ' And there none could tell with 
how many groans, with how many tears he was afflicted, the 
ground before him being watered with tears as if flooded by a 
wave.' 2 Whenever he travelled to Rome, he stopped at every 
wayside shrine, and, bursting into rivers of tears, prayed the 
saints to succour him, and to free him from the vile sepulchre 
of the body. But once in the Eternal City he exulted in all the 

J Bibl. Clun. p. 284, Vita Odilone. ^ Vita Syro, ii. 9. 



joy of his heart, as if he saw the glorious princes and apostles 
before him. 

Like Odo he encouraged innocent joy, and loved to see others 
happy. A charming picture is given of his arrival at Le Puy,^ 
which may have been his native town. ' Men and women 
rejoiced to see him : the whole town danced at his sight : all 
sought his benediction : all hoped to hear his holy speech : a 
procession was formed : the chief men assembled together : the 
common people hastened towards him : the holy priests of the 
church advanced in a dense throng. They applauded and 
cheered him with dancing and clapping of hands. Accompanied 
by the crowd, he proceeded to church, and, prostrate on the 
ground, adored his Christ, calling on Him with beating of the 
breast and watering the ground with his tears — tears which 
winged their flight to the sky.' 

But though he rejoiced to see others happy, above all things 
he loved solitude. Unlike Odo, who on a journey proceeded 
on his way singing cheerily and encouraging his monks to do the 
same, Maiolus rode alone with an open book in his hand. ' His 
reading was not restricted to ecclesiastical works alone, though 
when he read philosophy and books of secular wisdom, he always 
kept in mind the teaching of the divine word. Passages about 
love and the conduct of worldly affairs, to him superfluous, he 
passed over as if poisonous.' ^ Rarely did his book leave him, 
and he read both by day and by night. He delighted also to 
listen to the conversation of the wise, and to follow discussions 
on any point of Scripture. In his knowledge of the Scriptures 
he was accounted second to none, yet never spoke in a discussion 
unless his opinion was asked, when he replied prudently and 
well.^ He could quote all the evangelical and apostolic precepts, 
and his reputation for learning was great, though, unlike the 
learned, he never boasted. 

Characteristic of Maiolus was his love of moderation, an 
interesting point when it is remembered that the Cluniac School 
1 Ibid. )i. 11. - Ibid. ii. 4. ^ jbj^j ^ g. 


lias been misrepresented as inaugurating and upholding an 
extreme standard of asceticism. As a discreet father he was 
abstinent in all things (but allowed no one to praise him for 
that). Tempering the apostolic injunction, he used a little 
wine, though sparingly. He also availed himself of the con- 
cessions of the rule, not from any desire to cherish volupty, 
but in order to supply his bodily needs. When present at the 
tables of the great he partook of whatever was set before him, 
not too much and not too little, ' for the mean is praiseworthy, 
and in all things, even in good things, whatever exceeds the 
mean is a vice '.^ In dress he followed the same principle 
of moderation, his garments being neither too fine nor too shabby, 
in this unlike the generality of men who valued dress either too 
much or too little.^ He never appeared filthy and ragged, 
in order to arouse admiration by an outward semblance of 

His charity was marked by the same rule of moderation. 
Though always ready to relieve the necessities of the poor, he 
never let his almsgiving degenerate into excess. 

His speech was marked by brevity, ' whatever he said was 
weighty with the weight of wisdom, seasoned as with salt, 
grave in its virtue, and precious for its prudent sweetness '. 
He would reason with sinners with pious love, but when it was 
necessary, and when he could thereby lead an erring soul to truth, 
he was severe in rebuke, when his words were ' sharp and cutting 
as whips '. Having administered a rebuke, it was wonderful 
how holily and piously he could console the sinner.^ 

Asked to appoint one of his monks prior of St. Paul's, Rome, 
he chose one who, after many excuses, at last refused to go. 
Maiolus bore his disobedience quietly and started without him. 
The monk was so vehemently reproached by his companions for 
' his obstinate hardness ' that ' panting with anxiety and 
haste ' he followed Maiolus. He reached a river, and seeing his 
master on the opposite bank, flung himself on the ground to 
1 Ibid. ii. 8. ^ i^id. 3 n^i^, i^, 5, 


beseech with his body the pardon he was unable to ask with his 
tongue. Maiolus sent a boat for him. Asked if he would do 
penance he answered ' Yes ', whereupon Maiolus said, ' Kiss that 
man ', a leper whose face was covered with sores. The monk 
immediately obeyed, and the leprosy vanished.^ 

His knowledge of human nature was great. On one sinner 
he would work by blandishment, on another by admonition, 
on a third by terror. Following the apostolic injunction he 
was urgent in all things both in season and out of season. 

* Beloved by God and man he studied to please men that he 
should not be displeasing to God, and to please God that he might 
be useful to men.' His standard of life was the Gospel precepts. 
He studied himself as in a mirror, and whenever he discovered 
a fault in himself immediately corrected it, ever striving to adorn 
his mind. His chief counsel to his monks was to keep peace 
with all men. Like the apostle he could say, ' I have been all 
things to all men '. 

Deeply compassionate when it was a question of helping 
others, he cared nothing for his own comfort. On one journey 
he took off his cloak and wrapped it round a poor man whom 
he was distressed to see without either shoes or coat. Nor did 
he hesitate to draw a moral from the incident, for when the bishop 
of the town gave him a new cloak, better in cut and material, 
he turned to his monks and said, ' Let us not hesitate to give 
to Him who so abundantly and speedily can return what we 
give.' '^ 

In Sirius' judgement^ he possessed all the virtues. ' Where 
divers faithful men are praised for different virtues,' ho wrote, 

* the blessed Maiolus is to be praised as possessing not one but 
all. Besides, he excelled in the greatest, the virtue of despising 

* Bibl. Chin. p. 294, ex Petro Damiano, De tola cor pore linguam facit. 

- Vita Si/ro, ii, 18. 

^ Ibid. ii. 10, Veruni nos ens in eo laudare debemus, quas iota novit Italia, 
non ignorat Gerniania, in (pdhKs iota exsultat Gallia : restaurationem coenobiorum, 
paceni ecclesiis redditam, rcgiim et principum roncordiam, intemeratam regulae 
observantiam, lucrum aniinaruni. 


the glory of having virtue.' ' Among all men of his time he 
shone pre-eminent, honourable in action, sober in counsel, 
humble in prosperity, patient in adversity. He was affable 
to the gentle, terrible to the proud, generous when it was fitting, 
sparing when it was right.' ^ 

' How pleasing Maiolus was to God was seen by the signs and 
miracles God worked through him. He healed many who were 
sick, many who were blind, many bitten by serpents, by wolves, 
or by dogs, many possessed by devils, and rescued many from 
death by drowning or by fire. The number of souls he saved 
was known to God alone.' ^ Only one gift was denied him, 
as Sirius mourned, that of bringing the dead back to life. 
But he did what was more wonderful, united the soul with the 
Maker from whom it had been alienated by sin — ' bringing 
back to the joys of eternal life many dead in soul, and by the 
net of his preaching dragging to the firm and solid shore many 
who had been submerged in the waves of the great sea. To 
many sitting in the shadow of Death he showed the way to the 
heavenly Jerusalem.' ^ 

The first of the ' miracles ' occurred when Maiolus was at 
Macon. It was a time of famine. Every day the number of 
the starving increased, and his heart was daily wrung by the 
sufferings of the poor who flocked round him begging for help. 
All the resources of the houses could not have relieved them. 
He therefore betook himself to secret prayer. On rising he 
saw seven solidi lying on the ground. Fearing that this was 
• a trick of the devil, or that some one had lost the money, he 
dared not touch it. When he found that it was real, and that 
no one claimed it, he used it thankfully, not for his own neces- 
sities, but for those of the poor.^ 

The Vitae give great importance to the story of Maiolus' 
capture by the Saracens. This occurred on his return to Cluny 
after his first visit to the imperial court at Pa via. He was 
accompanied by many monks and clerks who were to escort 

1 Vita Odilone. ^ Vita Syro, ii. 10. ^ Ibid. ii. 10. ' Ibid. i. 10. 


him part of the way. The passage of the Alps was* known 
to be unsafe, and suddenly the Saracens swooped down on 
the Christians. Unable to defend themselves, the monks fled. 
Maiolus, who might have escaped, would not leave his companions, 
and was taken prisoner. For refusing to admit the power of the 
Saracens' god, he was bound in chains and imprisoned in a cave. 
Thinking nothing of his own sufferings, his only thought was to 
comfort his companions. His virtue was rewarded ; he saw 
one of the apostles standing near him, and his chains fell off. 
Another sign was granted him. He had grieved at having 
lost the books with which he always travelled, when to his 
joyful surprise he found his little volume on the Assumption — 
proof that he would be rescued before that festival, only twenty- 
four days distant.^ 

Although the Vitae make a great deal of the perils which 
menaced Maiolus, he was merely held up for ransom. The 
Saracens questioned him if he were rich enough to pay for him- 
self and his companions. He affably replied that he neither 
possessed nor wished to possess anything in this world, but 
that under him were many who had ample funds and the money 
of God.^ Ordered to write to Cluny he did so in the following 
words : ' Lords and brothers of Cluny, the roaring bulls of Belial 
surround me, and the jaws of death yawn for me. Therefore send 
if it please thee the amount of the ransom our captors require.' ^ 

This letter when read in the chapter at Cluny caused great 
dismay and anguish. ' There was one sound of w^eeping and 
one cry of sorrow.' Immediate and spontaneous was the effort 
to raise the sum required, good men from the neighbouring 

^ Ibid. iii. 1. It is not known to what occasion Sirius referred. In the 
Souvigny Vila the story is worked up. A new detail is given that some of the 
Saracens, fearing there would be an attempt to rescue Maiolus, rushed at him 
as he stood alone on a high rock. Instead of hurling him from it, they fell them- 
selves and were killed. Maiolus mourned for them. 

- Bibl. Clun. p. 295, ex Rod. Glabro, i. 4. According to the Souvigny Life 
Maiolus knew nothing about the ransom. 

^ Vita Syro, iii. 4, Maiolus miser captirus et calenatus. Torrentes Belial 
circumdederunt me, preorcu paver unt me laqiiei mortis. Redemptionis pretium 
si placet, mittite pro me et his qui una mecum capti tenentur. 


district/bringing their quota, wealthy men their treasure, and the 
monks giving up gladly both from the necessaries and ornaments 
of the monastery. ' For the freeing of such a father each gave 
what he could, and held himself wretched and unworthy that 
he could not give more.' All these offerings formed a common 
fund which was sent to the Saracens. Before the ransom 
arrived, the hearts of the Saracens had been softened, and Maiolus 
had converted several of them to Christianity. They affirmed 
that while the soldiers slept peacefully by night, and Maiolus 
was engrossed in prayer, they had often heard voices as of a 
multitude singing. As there was no inn near, this must have 
been the voices of angels who sang with him ! The ransom 
delivered, Maiolus reached Cluny in time to celebrate the feast 
of the Assumption. 

The Saracen raid was not left long unavenged. ' Nothing 
happens on this earth without a reason, and this disaster 
occurred not in opposition to the divine providence but because 
of it, that by the anguish of the one, the many might be saved.' 
The men of the district raised a strong force under William of 
Aries, and set out in pursuit of the Saracens, who, heavily laden 
with booty, were proceeding to their headquarters in Fraxinetum. 
The struggle was not long. Hopelessly outnumbered, the enemy 
soon took to flight. Almost all of them perished, for having 
taken refuge on a rocky height accessible only on one side, they 
were cut off by the Christians, and had to choose between death 
at the hands of their foes, or death from the precipitous rocks. 
They chose the latter alternative, and to the amazement of 
the Christians their dead bodies were seen next morning lying 
at the foot of the rocks. The mediaeval readiness to see the 
miraculous in great events made men to believe that the com- 
pleteness of the victory was due to the merits of Maiolus, who 
though absent in the body had been present in the spirit. There- 
fore, in gratitude for his spiritual help, when the spoils were 
divided, the books he had lost were sent to Cluny, — as indeed 
might have been expected in any case. 


Several of the miracles occurred when Maiolus was travelling. 
Once riding through a wood, ' sunk in deepest meditation 
broken only by tears and sighs ', he fell asleep. His horse went 
on, but stopped where the huge branch of a tree blocked the 
way. Maiolus, not knowing his danger, slept, and in his sleep 
saw a beautiful boy holding the horse's bridle. Awakening, he 
thanked God with tears for having guarded him from the peril 
of sudden death. ^ Another time, when he and his monks were 
travelling in a ' desert region ', he ordered for refection moruclae 
which had been given him the day before. The servant, on 
going to prepare them, found them broken and unfit for use. 
As this was due to his carelessness he was afraid to tell 
Maiolus. But the latter already knew through the spirit, and 
quietly told his companions to search for more. Now, though 
moruclae had never been known to grow there before, this time 
great quantities were found ! ^ 

Indeed, the problem of commissariat was easily solved when 
Maiolus was present. Once returning from Aquitaine, he decided 
to pay a visit to a monastery, first sending a messenger to say 
he was coming. The monks rejoiced, but the purveyor was in 
despair, because for long he had been short of fish. However, 
he told the fishers to go down to the river and to call on the 
name of Maiolus. This they did, and to their joyful amazement 
caught an enormous salmon, a fish never before found in that 
river. Great was the joy when Maiolus arrived ! Another time 
at St. Paul's, Rome, he found the brothers in a poverty-stricken 
condition. Having relieved their necessities, he begged the 
dispensator to give them a special gift of a pound of silver, but 
he, as the monastery was poor, gave only half a pound. Maiolus 
made no remark. On going out later a man unexpectedly gave 
him ten solidi, which he handed to the dispensator, admonishing 
him to have more faith in the future.^ 

1 Ibid. iii. 15. 

- Bibl. Clun. p. 1772. Morucln. a kind of fungus (Dncange). 

^ Vita Syro, ii. 17. 


Fearing the sin of pride, he always shunned the gaze of the 
multitude. At Pavia, where his every movement was watched, 
he used to go to church secretly at dead of night. One winter 
night the weather was so bad that the devil tried, but in vain, 
to dissuade him from going. Maiolus set out ' just as clouds 
had covered the twinkling stars '. The evil one put his lantern 
out. This terrified his companions. Maiolus calmed their 
fears, knowing that God would not forsake them. And indeed, 
as he arose from prayer his candle of itself began to burn, a 
lesson to the brothers ! ^ When William of Provence was dying 
he sent for Maiolus, convinced that the abbot's prayers would 
save his soul. Maiolus hurried to Avignon, where he was well 
known. Wishing to escape the public gaze, he ordered his 
tent to be pitched on an island in the Rhone. The people, 
however, determined to see him, crowded on to an old boat 
and started for the island. In mid-stream the boat began to 
sink, and men, women, and children, none of whom could swim, 
were thrown into the waves. Their cries for help reached Maiolus. 
Great was his distress, and bending his head he prayed. Then 
all that multitude appeared on the crest of the wave, ' the men 
and boys swimming, the women, with their babies in their arms, 
borne along by their inflated garments '. Sailors hastened to 
the rescue, and all were saved ! Still more miraculous, a servant, 
sent by count William with loaves for Maiolus, was saved by 
virtue of those loaves, three of which were untouched by the 
water ! ^ Not only did water lose its natural power before the 
merit of the abbot, but fire also. Once Maiolus, who was in the 
habit of reading at night, fell asleep with his candle burning 
and resting on the open page. Awakening with a start, his first 
thought was for his beloved book, ' a rare copy which could 
not easily be replaced '. But he found that, though the candle 
had burnt itself out, and ashes lay on the book, yet it was 
unharmed. Very joyfully did he thank God for having thus 
caused the fire to lose its natural energy. ^ 

1 Ibid. iii. 16. '' Ibid. iii. 18. ^ Ibid. iii. 17. 


Quite a number of the miracles circle round the healing 
power of the water in which Maiolus washed his hands. Once 
at Valla vense a band of mendicants ran to him, ' wise ', as Sirius 
with a touch of humour puts it, ' in that they managed to live 
on the morsels which fell from others '. One of them, who was 
blind, sought, not material help, but the gift of sight, St. Peter 
having revealed to him that if he bathed his eyes with water in 
which Maiolus had washed his hands, he would see. Rebuked 
and dismissed by Maiolus, he tried in vain to get the water from 
the servants. Still he persevered, and when Maiolus was leaving 
the town he ran in front of his horse, caught hold of its bridle, 
and swore that no whipping or punishment would make him 
leave go until Maiolus blessed water which, with prudent fore- 
sight, he had brought in a jar slung round his neck. His faith 
moved the saint, who dismounted, prayed with his monks, and 
blessed the water. The beggar then bathed his eyes, and saw.^ 
The same, thing happened when the father of a little blind boy 
received from the servants water in which Maiolus had washed 
his hands. The child recovered his sight, but when Maiolus was 
told he ordered that all such water should in future be poured 
out before him.^ Water he blessed had also healing powers.^ 
A noble matron, who had long been ill, sent water to be blessed 
by him. On drinking it she immediately recovered. 

Indeed, there was no need of a doctor when Maiolus was present. 
Once on a journey a monk fell dangerously ill, ' first burning 
with fever, then turning so cold that it seemed impossible to 
warm him '. Maiolus took off his coat and covered him. He 
mimediately fell asleep, perspired, and awoke as if nothing had 
ever been the matter with him ! * Another time a German count, 
who was ill and could eat nothing, sent messengers to beg for 
some of the abbot's food. It was given. As soon as the 
messengers started home the count began to recover, and on 
eating the food, became quite well.^ In Pavia, Hildebrand, 

1 Ibid. ii. 12. - Ibid. ii. 13. 3 Ibid. ii. 12. 

* Ibid. ii. U. 6 H)id_ m^ ^i. 


monetaruis of a monastery, was very ill. He had spent in vain 
great sums on skilful doctors and priests, and given much to 
the poor. Maiolus coming to Pavia visited him. Three 
days after he recovered ! ^ In the case of the bishop of Chur 
he healed both soul and body. The bishop, who was very ill, 
confessed to Maiolus that he was afraid there would be no 
reward for him in Heaven. The blackness of his guilt was so 
great that any good he had done was done, not for its own 
reward, but from vainglory. His confession eased him, and 
when Maiolus prayed for him at High Mass on Easter Day, not 
only did he recover his bodily health, but was thereafter saved 
from the sting of vainglory.^ 

Several miracles were worked at his tomb. The majority are 
of the usual conventional type, though a few are quaint and naive. 
One tells of a paralytic who set out to pray at the saint's tomb, 
sure that by this act of faith he would be healed. He travelled 
in a cart drawn by two oxen and a horse. The day he started, 
he found himself a little better and could be lifted on to the 
horse, and each succeeding day he recovered a little. When 
his journey was almost done, he came to a church dedicated to 
God and St. Maiolus. There he left the horse and cart as a gift, 
and went on his way with the oxen driven before him. At the 
tomb he prayed and was made whole, so he gave the oxen to 
St. Maiolus, and also a serf.^ 

A story, which has a pagan touch, tells of an ignorant old 
peasant woman, who, on a very hot day, cursed the rays of the 
sun. As a judgement she was struck blind, and not till she went 
on pilgrimage to Maiolus' tomb was she healed.* 

Another poor woman, who had an only son, was told in a 
vision to give the boy to the saint's service. She took no 
notice, thinking it incredible that a divine messenger would 
visit a poor woman like herself. Then the boy fell ill, and 
only when she had taken him to the monks and begged that 

1 Ibid. iii. 13. ^ ibid. ii. 16. 

^ Bihl Clun. p. 1812, Miraculorum Maioli. * Ibid. p. 1797. 


he should be instructed in letters {Uteris erudiendum) did he 
recover. 1 

The saint, indeed, looked well after his devotees. Once 
several pilgrims returning from his tomb reached the Loire, 
which they could not cross as the boat was at the far side, and 
the boatman refused to come for them. They called on Maiolus, 
when the boat crossed to them, waited for them to enter, and 
without earthly rowers or captains bore them to the opposite 
shore ! ^ 

Another time a pilgrim was robbed on his way to the tomb. 
Undismayed and unresentful he continued his journey. The 
robber, struck with contrition, followed and gave him back all 
he had stolen ! ^ 

The saint, too, would avenge any slight to his dignity, as 
a woman learnt to her cost. She sinned in that she did not 
stop weaving to celebrate the vigil of his festival. In con- 
sequence, the iron instrument which she was using stuck to her 
hand, ' as if it were born there '. Only after long and fervent 
prayer to Maiolus was it removed ! * On one occasion the writer 
evidently felt that his story was somewhat thin, so he cited as 
witnesses not only the common people but king Hugh himself, 
Burchard, count of Paris, and his son, Rainald, bishop of Paris. 

Writing 162 years after the death of Maiolus, Peter the 
Venerable claimed that during that time no saint had healed 
more sick and sorrowful than he. And could Sirius only have 
known it, his merit had even called a dead child back to life. 
A poor woman had a little son who died. She wasted no time 
in mourning, but gathering up the child in her arms, set forth, 
replying to all condolences and questioning, ' I bear my dead 
to Maiolus who will give him back to me.' Arrived at Souvigny, 
she laid the child's body before the altar. Great was the agita- 
tion of the monks and laymen, for though St. Maiolus had cured 

1 Ibid. p. 1798. - Ibid. p. 1808. •'' Ibid. p. 1805. 

* Ibid. p. 1810, Maiolus sicul est mitis et propitius suave iugum Domini 
portantibus, sic cdsligator manel districtus in incredulitatis duritia permanentibus. 

6T. rv;iCHAJlL'S \ "^ 


..^ c?> 


many ca^es of disease and sickness, he had never been known to 
bring the dead back to life. From the first to the ninth hour 
the body lay before the altar. Then of a sudden the eyes opened 
and the boy called for his mother, who ran to him. Immediately 
the people lifted up their voices, praising God and St. Maiolus, 
* even the monks who had been resting ran from their beds 
to rejoice at the miracle '.^ All the inhabitants of Souvigny 
crowded around — Souvigny, which, though but a village, was 
yet inferior in numbers to no town in Gaul, thanks to the fame 
of the saint.^ 

Rodulf Glaber, writing about the same time (eleventh century), 
tells of the many miracles which witnessed to Maiolus' virtue 
and raised Souvigny from a small and obscure monastery to 
a famous centre of pilgrimage. ' From the whole Roman Empire, 
men and women, afflicted with disease, came to that tomb to be 
healed. At the time of the great plague three saints in parti- 
cular were known to be swift to help, and to them great multi- 
tudes flocked. These three were St. Martin of Tours, Odolricus 
Maior, and Maiolus.' ^ 

1 Bibl. Clun. p. 305, ex Petro Venerabili, ii. 31. 
- Ibid. p. 301, Rod. Glab. iii. 5. 



OuiLO succeeded Maiolus as fifth, abbot of Cluny. He was a 
descendant of an old and wealthy family of Auvergne.^ His 
father Berald was so distinguished in ' authority and grace ' 
that he was known to all as Beraldus the Great. In behaviour 
and dress he was different from any other prince, so eminent in 
virtue that his word was held as good as his bond. His mother, 
whose family was equally distinguished, was a woman of deep 
piety. After her husband's death she gave up her great posses- 
sions and riches, left her children, her relatives, and her country, 
and entered the convent of St. John, Autun, where she took the 
veil. Jotsaldus, when writing his Life of Odilo, interviewed the 
few nuns who were old enough to have known her, and ' they, 
even then sorrowing over her death, told him with sighs of her 
praiseworthy life and of her gentleness, of her eager desire to 
help others and of her glorious death '.^ 

Odilo was one of a large family and had several brothers. ^ 
Of his two sisters, one married. The other, Blismodis, became 
an abbess and lived to the age of a hundred years.* 

As a child he was delicate and partly paralysed. He recovered 
in a manner almost 'too wonderful for belief '.^ The family had 

^ Migne, 142, Vita Odilonis Jotsaldo: Praefatio. Cf. Migne, 144, Vita 
Odilonis P. Damiano : Arverniae oriundus ex equestri or dine genus. 

- Vita Jotsaldo : Praefatio. 

^ Bruel, iii. 2788, Eight brothers are mentioned by name : Stephen, Ebo, 
Berald {prepositus of the cathedral of Le Puy), William, Eustorgius, Bertran, 
Hicterius (2). The grandfather's name was also Hicterius. 

* Vita Jotsaldo : Praefatio. Cf. Bruel, ii. 2788, B. venerabilis abbatisse et 
Aldegardis secundum seculum nobilissime matrone. 

^ Vita, II. i. Quod ne cui videatur incredibile, ah ipsis agnovi quibus ipse 
solitus erat narrare. Cf. Damiani, p. 927. 



been travelling from place to place, Odilo being carried by servants 
on a stretcher. One day they came to a church, and the servants 
went on to get provisions, leaving the boy with the luggage at 
the church door. The door was open, and the boy, ' by divine 
inspiration ', on hands and knees crawled to the altar. There 
he caught hold of the pall and tried to stand up, but the tissues 
of his legs were too weak and he fell back. He tried again and 
again, at last succeeded, and even walked round the altar. When 
the attendants returned they were terrified at finding the boy 
gone. Entering the church they were amazed to find him running 
about. With great joy they brought him cured to his parents. 
By this incident God showed how grateful and acceptable Odilo 
was to Him. 

Henceforth the boy loved Mary the Mother with all his 
strength, and when older he entered a church of St. Mary's, 
where, with God as his only witness, he offered himself to the 
yoke, saying, ' Oh most pious Virgin and mother of the Saviour 
of mankind, from this day henceforth receive me into thy service. 
As a most merciful advocate be present with me in my every 
deed, for I place none before thee save God alone, and to thy 
service for all eternity I offer myself.' 

From his childhood he was dedicated to the church, and at 
an early age entered St. Julian's, Brioude,^ where he was soon 
distinguished for his humility, charity, innocence, and purity. 
At St. Julian's, too, he delighted in doing works of mercy as far 
as was permitted him. But to his lofty aspirations of holiness 
the life at St. Julian's seemed strangely inadequate. St. Julian's 
was the home of secular canons. To Odilo salvation seemed 
only attainable in the regular life, the monastic calling. 
' Therefore he began to deliberate whether he should not forsake 
the flesh-pots of Egypt and enter the land of promise. Lord 
Jesus, how sweet is Thy vocation, and how sweet the inspiration 
of Thy spirit which makes the mind to throb, and which, having 

^ Ibid. I. i, Inter ipsa primordia tanquam alter Isaac Christo consecratus . . . 
et Brivate clericali sorte est donatus. Cf. Damiani, p. 928. 


inspired the mind of the young man, made him burn for the 
true embrace of Solomon ! ' ^ 

At this psychological moment he met Maiolus,^ then ' an old 
man and famous throughout the world '. Maiolus, on a visit to 
Auvergne, was struck by the young clerk's ' elegance of body 
and nobility of carriage, and pierced with the inner eye to the 
spiritual grace of which these were but the outward sign '. The 
two talked long and confidentially, and Odilo decided to enter 
Cluny. ' The new soldier of St. Benedict then left Romulus 
and the stronghold of Brioude. Renouncing his ancestral 
wealth, leaving his relatives and brothers, like Abraham of old 
who went forth from Ur of the Chaldees, he went to Cluny as to 
another land of promise. Having thrown off the burden of the 
old man, he clothed himself in the habit of a monk. Good 
Jesus, how joyful it was to see the sheep willingly shorn from 
worldly things, rising from the washing of baptism and going 
forth with. its young twins of either love, bearing nothing sterile 
within itself and no vain thought.' ^ 

As a novice he was distinguished among his fellows and first 
in good works. Nor when seeking the eternal pastures of truth 
did he disdain menial tasks — ' the cleaning of lanterns and 
scouring of the floor, the care of the children. But the pearl 
could not be long hid, nor the strong athlete remain unknown.' ^ 
He probably entered Cluny four years before Maiolus' death. ^ 

1 Ibid. r. i. ^ jbid. j. n 3 ibj^. j. m 4 i^id. i. 3. 

^ Ibid. i. 4, Evolutis fere quatuor annis. The first charter in which he is 
named abbot is dated 994. In 990 Odilo, son of Berald, with his mother and 
brothers Stephen, Ebo, Berald, Bertran consenting, gave to the sacrosanct 
monastery of Cluny part of the property to which he had legally succeeded, 
situated in the provuice Auvergne, the county Brioude, the vicaria Auratus 
and the vill Saraciacus. In that vill he gave whatever was his by hereditary 
right ; also a manor formerly ceded by himself, his mother and brothers, for 
the burial of his brother Hicterius, but which he had bought back for a hundred 
solidi from his fathers and brothers, the lord canons of Brioude. He gave the 
property on condition that Maiolus and his successors should hold and order 
it as they would and never alienate or sell it except to his brothers. This 
charter has been taken as recording the gift Odilo made on entering Cluny, a 
hypothesis discredited by the final clauses : if he changed his mind or if his 
heirs claimed the property a fine was to be paid (Bruel, iii. 1838). 



From the first the old abbot regarded him with special love, 
and when he felt death approaching/ he, like Aymardus before 
him, called together the neighbouring bishops and monks, and 
proclaimed Odilo his successor, or in the words of Jotsaldus, 
' Maiolus, after having sweated with great labour for Christ, 
went forth from the darkness of Egypt, and having traversed the 
danger of the seas entered Jerusalem, and was gathered to the 
eternal peace of the Lord. At the moment of his death he named 
Odilo his successor, entrusting him and his sheep to God. Odilo 
could not refuse the office, which he undertook reluctantly and 
indeed more unwillingly than could be believed. The choice was 
ratified by the unanimous vow of all the monks, and as another 
Moses he was set over the children of God.' ^ 

The charter of election was drawn up at Cluny and signed by 
king Rudolf, by two archbishops, five bishops, seven abbots, three 
counts, and eighty -one other signatories. It ran : Maiolus, an 
old man worn out by age, exhausted by bodily weakness and unfit 
for pastoral duties, feared that his ill-health would prevent his 
watching over Cluny's interests, and that as a result the order 
might deteriorate instead of being borne to ever higher things. 
Having summoned a great assembly and many bishops and abbots 
to Cluny (to prevent the danger of Odilo's refusing the office), 
he, with all the brothers, sons, and servants of St. Peter, elected 
Odilo abbot, a choice unanimously acclaimed. Only Odilo held 
back : the greater proof that he was worthy : such as he should 
be forced to office however unwilling, for only the unworthy 
recklessly aspire to honours. The charter of election was sent 
to be signed by duke Hugh and Odo. Those present at Cluny 
also signed a copy. 

Not long after Cluny's lands were attacked, and Odilo with 
Vivian, the prior, and many of his monks came to the synod of 
Ansa (994) to appeal to the bishops of Lyons, Vienne, Autun, 

1 Ibid. i. 4, Instante vero mortis articulo. 

^ Ibid., Ultra quarn credi possit invitus. The account here does not tally 
with that of Sirius, p. 113. 


Chalon, Macon, Valence, Uzes, Maurienne, Grenoble, Auguste, 
and Tarantaise, there assembled. ^ He begged for a charter of 
protection, for Cluny was afflicted with many ills and much 
anguish. The bishops out of reverence for St. Peter and respect 
for Maiolus, that holiest abbot and magnificent servant of God 
whose death they mourned, thereupon proclaimed that the 
monks were to hold their ecclesiae, tenths, and dues without 
molestation. No one was to attack Cluniac land, steal from 
Cluniac houses, or hold the burg of Cluny on pain of 
excommunication and anathema. No public judge, nor ex- 
accionarius, count, nor any one with his own army, nor 
conductucius,^ was to make a castrum, or fortification within or 
near Cluny and its potestates, or to build there. No secular, no 
military dignitary, nor men living near Cluny, or Carus Locus, 
or in Cluny's castrum and burg, was to take the monks' oxen, 
cows, pigs, horses, or other possessions. The heaviest ex- 
communication would be launched on such ofTeriders, for it 
was not right that a holy monastery should suffer from malignant 
and proud men. 

Under Odilo the number of the brothers at Cluny increased. 
' He stood the father of many monks, some of whom came to 
Cluny as boys, some as youths, some as old men, but although 
they were of different ages, of different character, and of different 

1 Bruel, iii. 2255. 

- Exactionarius=Exactor--Publicanvs (Ducange). Conductitius= Procurator 
plebis or minister altaris qui canonica portione vntnis accipiendo suhiertione 
indebila munus ab obsequio suo conductori persolrit (Ducange): this species 
of simony was publicly condemned by pope Gregory. Other points dealt 
with church discipline. Only a priest was to carry the sacred body and 
blood to the sick. The ' body of the Lord ' was not to be kept in a 
church more than a week and always to be renewed on Sunday. Those 
who came to vigils were allowed to stand and might groan or sigh, but 
there was to be no talking nor scurrility and nothiii'z done but what was 
to the good of the soul. No clerk was to hunt. It was to be remem- 
bered that priests were not to marry. If they did they lost their priestly 
office. They were not to believe in nor make incantations nor auguries. No 
one was to work after the ninth hour on Saturdaj'. No one was to buy or sell 
on Sunday. 


rank, Ite, cherishing them all with one moderation and virtue 
of discretion, with maternal love and paternal care, bound them 
together into one united family.' With joy he could repeat 
the words of David : ' Thy sons shall be as olive trees around thy 
table.' To him this increase in his flock was a cause of rejoicing ; 
to some of the monks it was a cause of anxiety, because of the 
difficulty of feeding so many. To these pessimists Odilo would 
say : ' Oh brothers, be not sorrowful at the increase of the 
flock, for He whose voice called them to this vocation will, by 
His providence and mercy, provide for their needs.' Joyfully 
he would precede his flock, and standing in the middle of the 
choir, with great thankfulness he would look right and left at 
the brothers around him. Whenever he went on a journey so 
many brothers accompanied him that he might have been taken 
not so much as a leader and a prince, but even as an archangel 
of monks ^ — the name by which Fulbert of Chartres called 

One result of this increase in numbers was the enlargement 
of the monastic buildings. The original monastery had been 
built mainly of wood. Only on the church (rebuilt by Odilo' s 
successor) had expense and care been lavished. When examining 
the rest of the monastery the foundations were found to be 
unsafe. Odilo, therefore, undertook the rebuilding on a large 
scale. ' He marvellously adorned the cloisters with columns 
and marble brought from the farthermost parts of the province. 
These were conveyed with great labour to the river, and then 
carried down by the swift current of the Doubs and Rhone.' 
When in cheerful mood he was wont to boast over the new 
buildings, comparing himself to Caesar Augustus, in that he had 
found Cluny wood and left it marble.^ 

1 Vita Jotsaldo, i. xi. 

^ Ibid. i. 13. Some of the funds for the restoration came from Spain. 
Writing to Paternus, abbot of the Spanish monastery of Pena, Odilo asked him 
to send on his messengers to St. John's where BishojD Sanchiiis (who had come 
from Pampeluna to be a monk at Cluny) had left his possessions. They were 
to bring back everything belonging to the bishop : with the silver the Cluniacs 


Little is known of the first years of his rule. Almost as 
indefatigable a traveller as Odo, he was probably occupied in 
those early years in extending the reform, and in supervising 
the houses already more or less subject to Cluny. During 
those years Cluny steadily rose in importance and more than 
ever required protection for her spacious lands and amy)le 
privileges. For the first part of this period the little known 
of the abbey's history comes from the charters of gift and 
protection which steadily increased in number. 

In 999, at Odilo's and Otto III.'s request, Gregory V. granted 
Cluny a charter. The pope gladly concurred with the wish of 
the abbot and the ' unconquerable, pious, and august emperor ' 
that Cluny should be strengthened by the apostolic authority, 
its freedom and autonomy proclaimed. No one, how^ever great 
or powerful, was to attack its monasteries, cells, churches, 
courts, vills, serfs, woods, vines, plains, meadows, waters, torrents, 
and lands, cultivated and uncultivated. No duke, .bishop, prince, 
nor any other person great or small was to molest the monks 
and their property or dispute their right to tenths. Under 
pain of anathema no bishop nor priest was to enter the monastery 
for ordination, consecration of church, or celebration of mass, 
unless asked by the abbot. Monks were to be ordained by what- 
ever bishop and in whatever place the abbot pleased. The 
abbot, who was to be chosen by the common counsel of the monks, 
could ask any bishop to consecrate him. The anathema was 
called down on any one who dared go against this charter,^ in 
which a long list of lands, churches, and monasteries subject to 
Cluny was given. At a time when Cluny was attacked by the 

would be able to finish the ' work ' above the altar begun in the name of the 
bisliop and of the dead king; with the gold which the bishop had brought with 
him they had been able to replace the images to tiie right and left of the altar 
formerly destroyed. The bishop also wished his consecrated vessels to be 
sent to him. The rest of the letter is lost (Migne, 142, Odilonis Episf. ii.). 

^ Migne, l.'}7, ]). 932, Sciat xr . . . (uuil/innatis rincido inuodauduw, et 
cum diubolo einfique atrociftsiniis ponipi.'i ntquc nini Jnda fraditore . . . in 
aeternum ignem concnnnanduni, ■'o'nnijqiir in mrnginini tnrtnruinqur rhnns 
donerfiuin cum i/ji/>//.s' dcjiricuduni. 


laity Benedict VIII. intervened, and ordered the bishops of 
Burgundy, Aquitaine, and Provence to excommunicate the 
aggressors, and help the monks ^ (1016) (p. 157). The same 
year he sent similar instructions to the bishop of Clermont ^ 
(p. 158). 

In 1027 John XIX. granted Odilo a very full charter 
confirming all Cluny's privileges and liberties.^ In the same 
year in the presence of king Conrad, then in Rome for his 
imperial coronation, the pope reaffirmed Cluny's privileges.* 
No bishop was to excommunicate the monks. Again in 1027 
John granted his beloved Odilo a ierrula which had been given 
to St. Peter's, Rome, some time before. The monks were to pay 
an annual census to St. Peter's for it.^ In 1045-46 Gregory VI. 
at Odilo's request confirmed Cluny's privileges and possession 
of Romainmoutier, as granted by Conrad's royal charter.^ 
Clement II. (1046-47) commended Cluny and its possessions to 
all the bishops, princes, and magnates of Gaul and Aquitaine."^ 

Odilo was also indebted to the Saxon emperors. Otto III. 
in his short reign gave several charters to Cluniac houses. In 
998 at Ravenna he confirmed Peterlingen's charters, and its 
possession of land in Colmar and Huttenheim, including a manor 
given by himself.^ The same year in Rome, at the request of 
Odilo, two bishops and the chancellor, he decreed that land 
for long taken away from Ciel d' Oro should be restored.^ In 
999, at Odilo's request, he confirmed Cluny's possession of St. 
Maiolus', Pavia, with the property given in the past and what 
might be given in the future. No duke, archbishop, bishop, 
marquis, count, judge, viscount, nor any one great nor small 
subject to his imperial power, was to interfere with the monastery 
and its possessions. Any one who violated the charter was to 
pay a fine of 100 pounds, half to go to the imperial treasury, 
half to Cluny ^^ (Rome). Next year at Pavia he confirmed the 

1 Ibid. 139, p. 1601. ^ jbj^j 139^ p iq28, 3 Migne, 141, Joannis Epist. vi. 
4 JafEe, i. 3101. » Bruel, iv. 2798. « Jaffe, i. 3136. 

7 Ibid. i. 3144. » Mon. Germ. Hist, Sickel,i. 273. " Ibid. i. 281. 

10 Ibid. i. 314. 


immunity and rights of St. Saviour's placed under Cluny by 
Adelheid.^ In 1001 at Ravenna he confirmed the immunities 
and possessions of St. Apollinare in Classe.^ Odilo also knew 
Henry II. well. The latter and the emperor Conrad loved and 
praised him so much that it seemed as if there were but one 
heart and soul between them.^ Soon after Henry's accession 
Odilo visited the royal court at Alsace, when the king con- 
firmed Cluny's privileges* (1003). Next year he was in Italy 
and present at the royal coronation in the Lombard capital. 
The night after the men of Pavia rose against the Germans, 
a revolt quickly crushed. The vanquished went to beg mercy 
from the king at the monastery of Ciel d' Oro, when Odilo inter- 
ceded for them.^ Three years later he was with Henry at Neuberg 
on the Rhine. In 1013 the king proceeded to Rome for the 
imperial coronation. Odilo spent Christmas with him at 
Pavia, ^ and went on with him to Ravenna, when Henry met 
Benedict VIII. 

After the coronation a great synod was held, the occasion 
probably when the pope in the sight of all the Roman people 
presented the emperor with a golden apple crowned with a 
cross. Henry at once perceived the significance of the gift — 
the apple a symbol of the weight of empire, the cross a reminder 
that his rule should be moderate. Holding the gift in his hand, 
' Oh best of fathers,' he said, ' it is more fitting that this should 
belong to those who tread the pomps of the world underfoot 
and follow the cross of the Saviour.' Forthwith he sent the 
golden apple to Cluny, esteemed the most righteous of all 
monasteries.'^ When the emperor died (1024), special masses 

1 Ibid. i. 375. - Ibid. i. 400. 

^ Vita Jolsaldo, i. 7. Cf. ii. xi., Henry loved him above all others and 
humbly adhered to his counsels. ^ Grandidier, Hist, d' Alsace, i. 358. 

» Vita Jotsaldo, i. 7, Pavia cuius prece et industria liberata est ab excidio 
gladii ct periculo iucendii. 

* Coronation, Feb. 14. In March Henry began his return journej'. Odilo 
was with him at Pavia. In JMay they were in Verona ; at Whitsuntide at 
Bamberg. Odilo then returned to Pavia and Cluny. 

" Rod. Glab. i. 5. 


and praters for his soul were appointed to be said annually 
in all Cluiiiac houses. 

Odilo was at Mainz for Conrad's coronation. Peterlingen's 
charters were confirmed soon after. Conrad also put Bremen 
Novale, Piedmont, under Odilo, a monastery in a particularly 
evil state. Odilo's nephew was appointed abbot. In 1026 he 
was at Pa via when the Lombards again rose against the German 
king, and again he interceded for them. He was with Conrad 
in Rome (1027) when he may have met Knut of Denmark. 

Of his relations with Henry III. little is known. A letter 
discovered by Sackur definitely proves that contrary to the 
accepted theory Odilo approved of the emperor's policy in raising 
Clement II . to the papal throne. ' He was present when the 
emperor, acting in concert with princes and prelates, judged 
Clement worthy to ascend the throne. He was present at the 
coronation and glorified God for having put down those who had 
stirred up strife, and having strengthened the Roman imperium 
by the choice of a most just prelate and Catholic head of the 
state' (1049).^ When Odilo was ill in Rome, Clement II. 
visited him frequently. The Cluniacs seem to have regarded 
the pope as a friend, and far from an imperial catspaw. There 
is no hint that they disapproved of the emperor's paramount 
authority in the election. Indeed, the Cluniacs may be said 
to have welcomed reform from whatever source it came. To 
Jotsaldus one of Odilo's special merits was that he resisted 
princes and the great in nothing. 

From Rudolf III., king of Burgundy, Odilo received several 
charters. In the first (994), Rudolf, guardian of the monastery, 
proclaimed that Cluny was to be left in peaceful and undisturbed 
enjoyment of its property. As the king could not be in that 

^ Neues Archiv, xv. p. 119, In cuius sacra unctione praesens adstitit, dans 
gloriam Deo qui Romanum imperium electa iustissimo presule et catholico 
reipublice principe sedatis malorum turbinibus roborare voluerit. The Cluniacs 
had been regarded as the opponents par excellence of the imperial interference 
in the papal elections. Gfrorer even stated that Odilo visited Rome with the 
express purpose of persuading Clement to abdicate ! 


region to guard the abbey's interests he exhorted all princes, 
judges, and rulers of counties there, to be a defence and protection 
in his stead, that the monks might in full security pray for 
himself and the kingdom. ^ In 998, at the request of ' that 
most religious abbot and the brothers sweating in the service 
of God ', Rudolf ratified the charters given Cluny by his 
ancestors. 2 The same year, at the request of his wife, the 
archbishop of Lyons, and Odilo, he confirmed Cluny's possession 
of Peterlingen and Romainmoutier, with the cells, churches, 
vills, and land belonging to them.^ In 1029, anxious to come 
to the help of the labourers who worked in the vineyard of the 
Lord, and to grant his wife's request, he gave Cluny the ecclesia 
of St. Blaise Liens, with hills and plains, and all the property 
belonging to it.* After his death his queen gave Cluny two 
manors.^ Odilo also received charters from Robert, king of 
the Franks. In 999 Robert confirmed Cluny's rights over 

Some time between 1017 and 1025 he and his son, at Odilo's 
request, confirmed Cluny's possession of the little abbey of St. 
Cosmo and Damiani, near Chalon, the curtis Belmont, a power 
(potestas) with its churches given by bishop Manasses, and two 
other churches given of old. The monks were to hold all these 
without interference from king, count, or any person of inferior 
rank.'^ Another royal charter was granted when Cluny was 
hard pressed by neighbouring bishops and nobles. 

The duke of Burgundy also extended his protection to the 
monks (1040). He had spent Easter at Cluny and been received 
with great reverence and devotion. When he returned home 
Geoffrey, the prior, and the congregation of Cluny followed him 
and petitioned that in return for their hospitality and friend- 
ship he would grant them in writing the promise of his protection 

^ iii. 2270, Invictissimus cupio c.s.sf futor. 

- iii. 24(35. A list of vills is given. 

3 iii. 2466. * iv. 2S12. •■ iv. 2802. 

^ iii. 2485. (livon by Hugh, count of Chalon and hislioji of Auxonv. 

' iii. 2711. 


and he]p wherever his power extended. Any one who wished 
to retain his ' favour and friendship ' was never to do harm or 
injury to any place belonging to Cluny.^ 

Some years before this Odilo had appealed to the duke. The 
latter, surrounded by the bishops of Autun and Langres, abbot 
Halinard of St. Benigne's, and many of his fideles, received ' his 
faithful friend and devoted well-wisher Odilo ', who laid a long 
complaint before them. A locus and the church St. Maurice 
with its lands, given to Cluny (948) by the bishop of Aries, had 
been taken by evil men.^ Not long after, Hugh the Great, duke 
of the Franks, visited Burgundy. The evil-doers, fearing the 
monks would appeal to him, waylaid him and cunningly strove 
to persuade him that the land and church were rightly theirs. 
The duke knew better and restored the lands to Cluny. After 
his death the former aggressors and their heirs again seized 
the lands. Count Otto William restored them, and that such 
unjust aggression might cease bought the men off with another 
benefice. The monks also paid them a large sum of money. 
The evil-doers then promised to make solemn and public restitu- 
tion before the duke and the many princes and magnates with 
him. Odilo therefore begged the duke to confirm the agree- 
ment, which Robert the king also corroborated (1032-39). 

^ Ibid. iv. 2949, Nullo modo quamlihet torturam aut contrarietatem. 

^ Ibid. iv. 2888. Odilo wished the duke to know how Cluny had received 
the lands, how by the negligence of princes and the violence of his enemies it 
had lost them, and by whose help and zeal it had recovered them. 



When Cluny grew in temporal riches and spiritual renown, 
her position of eminence made her a tempting object of attack, 
her riches stirring up the cupidity of the lay lords, her independ- 
ence awakening the jealousy of the diocesan bishops, who saw 
their authority threatened by the principle of autonomy which 
Cluny claimed not only for herself but for her subject monasteries. 
Cluny was attacked by lay lords in 1016 and by the episcopate 
in 1025. In both cases Odilo appealed to Rome. 

Strife with the episcopate arose over Cluny's exemption 
from diocesan control. The bishop was invested with spiritual 
power which was supreme over his diocese. In this power St. 
Benedict acquiesced, and directed his monks to do the same. 
From the first occasionally, but more frequently after the Cluniac 
reform, the popes granted particular monasteries charters of pro- 
tection and immunity from outside control. These seem to have 
been given for purely practical reasons. The special protection 
of the papal name might help a small and struggling monastery. 
Special immunity was an advantage when the spirit of reform 
within a monastery was checked by a conservative or feudalised 
bishop, or nullified by lay lords. 

But though the popes were actuated b}- no far-sighted policy, 
in this they were unwittingly forging a magnificent weapon of 
offence against the episcopate. In the ultramontane struggle 
the monasteries proved the papacy's most valuable asset. A 
statesman like Nicholas VI. may have foreseen what a powerful 
weapon the monasteries would be. His successors, ignorant 
and short-lived, had neither the capacity nor the occasion to 



look so far forward. Nor do the Cluniacs seem to have perceived 
what a harvest would be reaped from the seed then being sown. 
Odo, who established the principle of Cluny's autonomy, did so 
as a means of furthering the immediate and pressing needs of 
his time. The bishops, equally unseeing and engrossed with 
their secular duties, were glad enough to have the responsibility 
for the inconspicuous and poverty-stricken monasteries shifted 
to the broad if careless shoulders of Rome. 

When the reformed monasteries grew in importance and 
number the bishops began to be jealous of their privileges. As 
interest in the monastic reform was aroused, the secular church 
no longer received all the gifts of the faithful. The idea gained 
ground that monasticism represented the highest Christian life, 
and that the monks were more detached from worldly interests 
than the secular clergy, when, paradoxically enough, it was the 
monks that the laity delighted to enrich. 

Nor did abbots and bishops see eye to eye about the provision 
for those monks who in outlying districts officiated in the country 
churches. In return for these services the monks asked for 
church tithes, their argument being that ' if temporal goods 
were to be divided they ought to be used to compensate those 
who supported night and day the burden of the priest in the 
church '. Another grievance was that the secular church like 
the rest of society had become feudalised. Too often the bishops 
used their powers over the monasteries as if suzerains requiring 
services from vassals. The abbots refused to pay dues which 
might be regarded as services from a fief. As time went on 
they refused to submit to heavy expenses of forced hospitality, 
lodging, and purveyance, and demanded their share of ecclesi- 
astical tithes. 

On the spiritual side (which was intelligible, seeing they 
regarded the monastic as the highest calling in the church) the 
abbots endeavoured to escape from obedience to the bishop. 
The more the episcopate became secularised the more they 
redoubled their efforts for independence. Cluny from the first 


was freed from episcopal control. Other abbots began to protest 
against the episcopal right of visiting, correcting, and excom- 
municating the monasteries, and refused the bishop entrance to 
their buildings. The Cluniacs had early seen that when the 
bishop's presence was necessary, e.g. for ordination, it was 
expedient for their position of independence to invite any other 
bishop than their diocesan or themselves to leave the cloister 
for ordination. That policy seemed at first to awaken no 
opposition. Monastery and diocesan appeared to be on friendly 
terms except for occasional friction over tenths. It w^as the 
question of ordination, however, which brought the quarrel wdth 
the episcopate to a head. 

First, however, came the attack on Cluny's temporal position. 
In 1016 she was attacked by feudal lords, and immediately 
appealed to her suzerain and protector, the pope. The answer 
was prompt. Benedict, on behalf of his foster-child, wrote 
to the bishops of Burgundy, Aquitaine, and Provence.^ He 
reminded them that from its foundation Cluny had been upheld 
in its freedom from all subjection, save to God and the papacy, 
by pope, emperors of the Romans, kings of the Franks and of 
the Burgundians. All his predecessors had confirmed its privi- 
leges, so that all who with fervent vow and desire left the world 
and gave themselves to the regular discipline there, could without 
let or hindrance be more closely joined to God, and from the 
offerings of the faithful extend hospitality and care to the poor. 
But now he had heard from Robert, king of the Franks, and 
his nobles in Rome, and from the messengers sent by his beloved 
son Odilo, that evil men, stirred up by greed and madness, had 
attacked the lands of Cluny, preying not only on the possessions 
of the monastery but also on those of the poor committed to 
them. Overcome by great anguish and affliction, the monks 
could no longer give due service to God, nor extend their 

^ Migne, 189, p. IGOl, Epist. Benedicti, xvi. The archbishops of Lyons, 
Vienne, Besain;on, the bisho|)s of Autun, Clermont, Le Puy, Chalon, Langres, 
Million, X'alence, U/es, Troyes, Gap, Vaison, Avignon, Riez, Carpentras. 


customary care and hospitality to the guests and poor of the 
monastery. The whole church suffered thereby, as the prayers 
and masses which Cluny had hitherto offered for all the faithful 
had to be curtailed. It behoved the faithful to have compassion 
on Cluny's anguish and to rally to her side. More especially 
was this the duty of the papacy, to whom after God and St. Peter 
the care and guardianship of Cluny belonged : hence his letter. 
Those who had attacked the monastery were then named ; * 
the first offender had not only seized Cluny's property, but 
when the monks pleaded for justice had mocked at their prayers 
and disavowed their rights ; others had taken churches and 
lands, and exacted unjust dues. If the thieves and persecutors 
did not return what they had taken by a certain date they 
were to be excommunicated by bishops and priests, and as 
putrefying and lifeless members cut off from the body of Christ. 
A tremendous curse was then laid on them. 

Benedict also wrote to the bishop of Clermont. By its 
founder, as the bishop knew, Cluny had been committed to 
Rome for defence against the insatiable greed of laymen. The 
shield of the papal might must be opposed to those depraved 
men who persecuted the abbey. He therefore called on the 
bishop ' to hurl at those who nefariously attacked Cluniac property 
and oppressed the monks not a light stone but the heaviest 
dart of excommunication '.^ 

The next attack was more serious, being directed against 
Cluny's privileges. It is not known why the bishop of Macon 
chose this particular moment to attack Odilo for exercising a 
privilege of which his predecessors had availed themselves. But 
at the council of Ansa (1025) he appealed to the bishops there 
assembled against Burchard, archbishop of Vienne, who had 
slighted his rights as diocesan and gone against canonical decree 

1 Ibid. One man had seized the church with all its land and property ; 
two had taken two potestates ; other two were raising difficulties about land held 
iwprecaria from Cluny ; three others claimed a vill ; another was levying unjust 
dues from a potestas and vills. There were many more offenders too numerous 
to be named. ^ Ibid. Epist. xxix. 


by ordaining monks of Cluny without his (Gauzlin's) licence and 
consent. Burchard cited Odilo in his defence. Odilo rising 
with his monks immediately showed the charters and privileges 
granted by the popes, a justification, it would seem, final in itself. 
The bishops, unable to disprove the fact of the charters, went 
further and condemned their validity as going against the 
decrees of the council of Chalcedon (451) and other authentic 
councils, where it was laid down that abbots and monks were to 
arubmit to their diocesan, and that no bishop was to ordain 
monks without the diocesan's consent. The privilege which 
Odilo cited was therefore not binding, since not only was it 
not in accord with canonical decrees, but even went against 
them.i Convinced by this reasoning, the archbishop of Vienne 
sought pardon from Gauzlin. 

Neither Cluny nor the papacy could pass over the insult. 
Odilo appealed to the emperor and to the pope, who energetically 
bestirred himself on Cluny's behalf. His indignation and grief 
were expressed in four letters : one to the bishop of Macon, 
rebuking him for his audacity, another to the archbishop of 
Lyons condemning Gauzlin, a third to Odilo reaffirming Cluny's 
privileges and liberties, and a fourth to Robert, king of the 
Franks. Robert followed the papal example and confirmed the 
royal charters granted to Cluny. 

In the first letter the pope reminded Gauzlin that he held 
his episcopal authority from Rome whose son and disciple he 
was. How then did he dare, stirred up by fresh temerity and 
burning with inextinguishable greed, to spurn his mother, and 
lift as it were his foot against his master, which he had done 
by seeking to annul the papal privileges, by attacking Odilo 
and his monks, and by disturbing the peace of Cluny, a monas- 
tery which shone in holiness before almost all nations, which, 
relying solely on the apostolic privileges, was free from all other 
authority, and answerable to the papal judgement alone. 

^ Mansi, Concilia, xix. p. 423, Decreverunt chartam von esse ratam quae 
canonicis non solum non concordaret sed etiam contrariel sententiis. 


Gauzlin's attempted tearing asunder of the papal members 
could end only in ruin to himself. Let him beware, and leave 
Rome's special monastery to Rome ! The papacy would guard 
it from him and all others. If he had any real case against 
Cluny, let him seek the papal judgement which suffered prejudice 
to none.^ 

In the letter to Burchard, the pope expressed his grief at 
Gauzlin's having arrogated to himself the right, against the 
apostolic privileges, to ordain the monks of Cluny. By his 
greed he had made himself liable to the papal ban. The pope, 
grateful to Burchard for having defended the monastery for so 
long, begged him to continue to do so. As metropolitan he 
was to forbid the bishop of Macon to consecrate, ordain, or 
claim any other right in ' this our monastery '.^ 

In the charter to Cluny John dwelt on the close relationship 
which had always existed between monasteries and the see, a 
union which made his predecessors ready to hear the petitions 
of the monks, more especially those of their beloved sons of 
Cluny who had ever encouraged true religion and piety. In 
reply to Odilo's petition, strengthened as it was by the emperor 
and the empress, he reconfirmed the monastery's charters and 
privileges. For the Holy See did not suffer liberties once 
granted to be rescinded. Under pain of excommunication 
no bishop was ,to enter Cluny for ordination, consecra- 
tion, or celebration of Mass, unless invited by the abbot, 
who could send his monks to receive ordination wherever he 
pleased, and himself be constituted by any bishop. Also, under 
pain of excommunication, no bishop was to excommunicate, 
interdict or anathematise the monastery, or excommunicate 
or lay malediction on monks of Cluny wherever they happened 
to be. For it did not seem fitting that without the papal 
judgement a son of the apostolic see should be anathematised 
like a disciple of any subject church. If a complaint against 
Cluny arose, the apostolic judgement was to be humbly requested 

1 Migne, 141, Joannis Epist. xii. 1027-33. - Ibid. Epist. xiii. 


and patiently submitted to. Cluny was the gate of mercy, of 
piety, of salvation, ever open to the sinful, the needy, and the 
sorrowful. There the just would find a resting-place, and the 
sinful, seeking pardon, not be repelled. There to the innocent 
would be offered brotherly love, and the hope of salvation 
not denied to the wicked. Any one bound by the chain of 
anathema and fleeing to Cluny was not to be excluded from 
the pardon and mercy he hoped for. The anathema was 
pronounced on any one who went against the charter.^ 

The letter to king Robert (1027) opened with a sombre if 
conventionally worded picture of the times. The love of the 
many waxed cold, iniquity abounded, the church was oppressed 
not only by strangers but by those who called themselves her 
sons. Religion decreased, justice was dishonoured, the apostolic 
privileges and royal precepts were scorned. It behoved both 
papal see and royal power to be vigilant. Especially did the pope 
grieve over the luxury and avarice of the bishops in France. 
He begged the king to assist him in restraining the rage and 
insolent fury with which the bishops had attacked places 
subject to the Holy See, and particularly Cluny, the especial 
child of Rome. He recapitulated the monastery's privileges 
in a charter which he forwarded to Gaul to be read aloud to 
all the ecclesiastics and princes of the kingdom, to be authorised 
by the king and sealed with the royal seal. All were to know 
that the anathema would be launched against any one who 
dared go against the charter. ^ 

In the same year Robert, in order to ' check the insolence of 
evil men ', granted Cluny a charter. All were to know that by 
the royal charters and apostolic privileges of old, Cluny was freed 
from the authority of all men. Within the confines of its bound- 
aries, from Chalon to Macon, from Mt. Algoia to Chedrelense 
and Mt. St. Vincent, no man, nor prince, nor duke, was to build 
either fortress or fortification. Any bishop, count, freeman, or 
serf of either sex or difterent grade who offered a gift to the altars 
^ Ibid. Epist. vi. - Ibid. Episi. xi. 


of Cluny was assured of royal commendation. All gifts were 
to be held in perpetuity. On any one who disobeyed the decree, 
in whatever part of the kingdom it might be, the king himself 
would take vengeance.^ The attack of the bishops had thus 
shown how energetically papal and royal power was prepared 
to act for this ' special child ' ? 

Another dispute between the Cluniacs and the episcopate 
arose over the monastery of Vezelay, the condition of which 
was so bad that the count of Nevers expelled the abbot and 
monks. A monk of Cluny was appointed abbot without the 
bishop of Autun being consulted. Having been present at the 
council of Ansa he probably knew that he could rely on the 
sympathy of his episcopal brothers. At this disregard of his 
diocesan rights he threatened to interdict all the ' altars ' in 
his diocese at which the Cluniacs officiated, and ordered the 
Cluniac monks, on penalty of excommunication, to leave Vezelay. 
They appealed to Rome : unfortunately it is not known whether 
or what the pope replied. 

A letter to Odilo from William of St. Benigne's ^ showed how 
much ill-feeling had been aroused over Vezelay. ^ The bishop 
of Autun ', William wrote, ' is so much infuriated against your- 
self, myself, and our monastery that he threatens to do us all 
the harm he can, to take from us the monastery of Magabrense, 
to put under his episcopal ban all our altars in his diocese, and 
to stir up bishops, clerks, and laymen of every rank against us. 
He has excommunicated the monks of Vezelay and ordered 
them to leave. They, relying on the privileges of the abbey, 
paid no heed,* spurned his letter, and trampled it under foot. 
This had stirred the bishop to greater wrath, and told far and 

1 Bruel, iv. 2800. 

2 A story from a later and unknown source {Gall. Christ, iv. 1060) and 
difficult of credence states that several years later Odilo proceeded to Macon, and 
after giving gifts to the cathedral prostrated himself before each of the canons 
in turn and acknowledged that he had sinned over the question of ordination. 
The incident is quoted as proof of his humility. 

^ Bouquet, x. p. 505. 

* Ibid., Per nihilo eius sententiam computaverunt. 


near has aroused much ill-feeling against them. Those who 
before seemed our friends ', William continued, ' have made this 
an excuse to turn against us. They blame us for unheard-of 
presumption and horrible greed for secular possessions. They 
maintain that the abbot ought not to have been expelled, as no 
abbot can be deposed without canonical procedure and sentence 
passed by the bishop of his diocese ' — criticisms William had 
heard not only from those whose opinions he discounted as 
arising from envy, but from those formerly well disposed to the 
Cluniacs. As the bishop had pronounced the anathema against 
the monks and would not remove it till they left Vezelay and 
returned with all their belongings to Cluny, he believed it would 
be best for Odilo to recall them lest any of them died under 
excommunication. Yet he did not know if the count of Nevers 
would allow this, or if they themselves would be willing to leave. 
He wished he could have thought of better advice, but had felt 
it right to tell Odilo all the circumstances and leave the matter 
to his judgement. Unfortunately further details are lacking. 
Eventually the king intervened, took over the monastery, and 
the monks left. 

John XIX., who had bestirred himself so vigorously on 
behalf of Cluny, was equally vehement in his denunciation 
of Odilo when the latter refused the archbishopric of Lyons. 
On the death of Burchard of Lyons ' great dissensions arose, 
for many coveted the see, though their only claim was not 
merit but vainglory '. Burchard's nephew, a man proud beyond 
all measure, left his own see and snatched that of Lyons. After 
committing many crimes he was captured by the imperial 
soldiers and exiled. Next a count seized the see for his little 
son, who soon after fled, ' a mercenary rather than the shepherd 
of his sheep '.^ The pope was then appealed to, and asked to 
appoint Odilo, whose nomination had been eiithusiastically 
acclaimed by clergy and people. The pope sent the ring and 
the pall to Cluny. Odilo, who had already refused the see, 

1 Rod. Glab. v. 4. 


wrote to Rome that he would hold the ring and the pall 
for a worthier candidate. This reply infuriated the pope. 
Odilo must obey or he would learn with what bitterness, 
with what severity, Rome could chastise him who did not 
do her bidding. There was no virtue more praiseworthy than 
obedience, for which God asked rather than for sacrifice, and 
which, as he need not remind Odilo, Benedict praised most 
highly in his monks. He, the pope, could let pass the insult 
to the cathedral of Lyons, though Odilo had as it were 
spat in the face of that church ; he could overlook the 
injury to the sancta plebs whom, that his strength might 
be spared, Odilo had refused to govern ; he could be silent 
at Odilo's rejection of the request of so many great men 
(praesules) ; but what he could not, what he ought not to 
pass over unavenged was the disobedience to Rome and to 
himself.^ Odilo's reply is unknown. The pope died soon 
after, a circumstance which automatically brought the incident 
to an end. 

The see was next offered to another Cluniac, Halinard, abbot 
of St. Benigne's, Lyons. He protested that he, a monk, was 
not fitted to uphold such a burden,^ all the more as Odilo had 
deemed himself unworthy. Finally, the see was offered to the 
insignificant Odulrich, archbishop of Langres. To his nomina- 
tion king Henry, grieving that there had been so much discord, 
gladly consented. Odulrich only enjoyed his dignity till 1046, 
when he was poisoned. At his death the see was again offered 
to Halinard, who again refused it. Gregory VL was asked to 
intervene, and to his express command Halinard bowed. But 
when receiving investiture at the imperial court at Speyer (1046) 
he refused to give the customary oath of fealty, maintaining that 
he could not go against the precept of St. Matthew's Gospel, nor 

^ Joannis Epist. xvi. 

^ Migne, 142, Vita Halinardi : Obtendens se monachum ad tantum, onus 
nequaquam fore idoneum. According to Sackur, Odilo refused the see because 
he could not take the oath of fealty to the emperor. There is no such statement 
in the original authorities. 


the command of the Benedictine rule.^ Notwithstanding the 
consternation of the German bishops and the outcry of the 
courtiers, he held to his decision. The difficulty was finally 
settled by compromise. This refusal to take the oath is an 
interesting sign of sentiment against imperial control in ecclesi- 
astical affairs, the more significant as the emperor in question 
was the especial friend of the church. 

Twice Odilo and his abbey were vehemently attacked, once 
by the Southern bishops at the council of Ansa, and again by 
the scurrilous satire of Adalbero of Rheims. Both attacks may 
be regarded as signs of a larger movement, the growing jealousy 
and mistrust of a certain section of the secular church for the 

Jealousy was heightened on the accession of Hugh Capet's 
pious son, who became king at the time when Cluny had carried 
through, much of her reform, and stood unchallejiged as the first 
reforming house of the age. Hobert, a true Capetian in this, 
favoured the church and especially the monks, a policy in the 
circumstances far from unsound. By favouring the regular 
church he might hope to check the overgrown power of the 
bishops. Besides, the monks probably represented the best 
spirit of the age, for which reason the more progressive of the 
bishops had been glad to favour them. To the more conservative, 
however, it was galling to see honours which they regarded as 
their prerogative passing to the monks, many of lowliest birth. 
The prevalence of these grievances made possible the writing of 
the satire. Not that Adalbero - can be taken as representa- 
tive of the better section of the conservative school, his record 
even for that age being a black one. Yet behind his personal 

^ ' Give no oath, and have no connection with temporal affairs.' Richard 
of St. Vannes and Poppo of Stablo also protested against this oath. William 
of St. Benigne's when appointed abbot refused to give the oath of fealty to 
the archbishop of Lyons. The abbots of Fleury also fought long with the 
bishop of Orleans over the taking of the oath. 

- Adalbero's life was far from edifying : he had changed sides and mingled 
in intrigues in a way that was barefaced even for that age. Finally he had 


animosity against the monks, some idea may be formed of the 
valid criticism to which the movement was subjected. 

The satire ^ was addressed to king Robert, whom Adalbero 
hoped to win from the side of the monks. The exact date is 
not known. In choosing the form of satire Adalbero followed 
the taste of his age, which delighted in pamphlet warfare. 
Unfortunately the dialogue is very obscure, and the style so 
involved that it is often almost impossible to follow. Many 
of the allusions are now unintelligible. The satire may be 
divided into four sections : Adalbero's description of the 
change and deterioration in church and state ; his burlesque 
of the Cluniacs ; his theory of ecclesiastical hierarchy and 
social caste ; his programme of reform. The central thought 
that runs through all four, giving a certain unity to the 
whole, is Adalbero's hatred of the changes transforming society 
which are attributed to monastic influences, and contrarv 
to the traditions and laws of the fathers and popes. The 
evils of the movement are exposed, by invective, satire, and 

Adalbero begins by expressing his grief at having to write 
what he was about to write. He then passed to criticism of the 
monastic leaders, who, in order to carry through their reform, 
falsely asserted that they were reviving the principles and 
customs of old. ' They formulate new theories which they call 
old, writing above them " lex antiquissima ".' ^ But should a 
great error in the holy faith arise, they would never think of 
attacking it. One of the most pernicious of their innovations 
was their teaching the unconditional obedience of the monk to 
his abbot, ' so that what a monk would refuse to do of his own 
free will, he was compelled to do by force '. The order of 
society was being changed for the worse by the admission of 

to retire to Laon, and there in his bishopric, away from the intrigues of court, 
watched from afar the new course of events which he bitterly resented. A 
discredited prelate, he never learned to adjust himself to the times. 

^ Migne, 141, p. 773, Adalberonis Carmen. 

2 Ibid. Perhaps a reference to Abbo of Fleury's canons. 


the monks,^ men of lowly birth thereby penetrating to the 
higher ranks of the church and state. The peasant, lazy, 
coarse, deformed, shameful (turpis), was enriched with a thousand 
beautiful crowns studded with gems ; the magistrate was forced 
to wear the cowl and to follow the Cluniac hours of prayer, of 
genuflection, of silence, of communication by signs, and kissing 
of the forehead. Bishops were deprived of their sees, and found 
themselves obliged perpetually to follow the plough, cracking 
their whips while they sang the songs of exile of our first parents. 
If a see fell vacant, at once a sailor, a shepherd, or any common 
person was raised to it. The only persons who need not aspire 
to high office in the church were those skilled in the divine law. 
Sufficient qualification for a bishop was to know nothing about 
the Scriptures, never to have devoted a day to study, and, as 
his sole scholastic qualification, to be able to count the alphabet 
on his fingers. Such ignorant men rose to be heads and teachers, 
celebrated throughout the world and reverenced, even by kings. 
He next attacked the hypocrisy of the monks, who preached one 
theory in public but practised another in secret. They had 
departed from the traditional virtues of monasticism, and secretly 
revelled in luxury, incest, theft, and crime. Monks only in 
name, they took to themselves wives, engaged in warfare, and 
considered themselves outside the laws of their country. 

Perplexed by these changes and disconcerted that the king 
encouraged them, Adalbero talked the matter over with his 
friends. They advised him to lay his difficulties before Odilo of 
Cluny, ' reminding him that Gaul still possessed monks nourished 
in the rules of the fathers, and that Odilo would assuredly be 
able to clear up his perplexities '. Accordingly he sent a mes- 
senger to Cluny, a monk of the old school, sober, responsible, 
obedient, and learned in the rule, who had never ceased to obey 
the laws of the fathers. He set out in the evening and returned 
next morning, an impossibly short time — i.e. probably meant as 
a gibe at the rapidity with which the Cluniacs carried through 

^ Ibid. As they command, so is the ordcM- of society changed. 


their reforms. And what a change in his bearing ! He who 
formerly had been engrossed in spiritual things now leaped off 
his foaming steed and called for his wife and children. He was 
no longer clothed in the monastic habit, but in such weird 
accoutrements that his former companions scarcely recognised 
him. His shoes, with their pointed and upturned toes, were in 
the latest fashion. His spurs pricked the ground, and he skipped 
jauntily forward on the points of his toes. He called for the 
bishop, and having clenched his fists, stretched his arms, raised 
his eyebrows, twisted his neck and rolled his eyes, he burst into 
a torrent of speech. 

' I am a soldier now,' he cried, ' and if a monk, a monk 
with a difference. Indeed, I am no longer a monk, but fight 
at the command of a king, my master Odilo.' 

The bishop attempted to quell this untempered zeal by 
reminding him of the rule about silence, but shamelessly he 
replied, ' I may remember knowing it in the past, but your rebuke 
will not keep me from speech. I must deliver the message of 
my master.' 

The message told of a fight between the monks and the 
Saracens. The monks had been defeated, and the safety of 
Cluny being in jeopardy Odilo resolved to petition the king for 
help. When he announced this decision his monks crowded 
round him in protest, and shouted that none but he should be 
their captain and lead them to victory. Odilo, thereupon, took 
over the command and issued his orders. The young and the 
strong were to travel in chariots, and to proceed as slowly as 
possible. The old and infirm were to mount on horseback, or 
advance rapidly on foot. Horses were scarce, so two had to ride 
on a donkey, ten on a camel, and three on a buffalo. Bucklers 
were to be tied round the neck, garlands to adorn the head, 
casquettes to be tied to the waist-belt, javelins hung on to the 
back, and the sword held between the teeth. The absurdity of 
the commands was probably meant to typify the topsy-turvydom 
into which the monks were bringing society. 


The company, thousands and thousands of warriors {millia 
mille), set out for a three days' battle, described in mock heroic 
vein. Whether there was a reference to a real incident or not, 
the intention was evidently to satirise the huge train which 
followed Odilo when he travelled. The monks were put to 
flight, but resolved to fight again. The defeat took place on 
December 1. Revenge would follow on March 1. Odilo called 
on the bishop to take part on that great day. Far better to die 
arms in hand than to live cultivating his fields. The satire ends 
with the messenger's being chased ignominiously away, and 
Adalbero warns the king, ' Believe me, oh my king, all that I 
say is truth. The discipline of the church is transformed in 
thy kingdom.' 



One of the most interesting movements of Odilo's day was the 
peace movement in which he took an active part.^ From the 
earliest times the church had regarded it as her duty to further 
the interests of peace. That duty became more particularly hers 
after the dismemberment of the Empire, when with no central 
authority in the State old institutions had passed away and 
new ones had not been born. In the resulting dislocation of 
society, the church as the one stable institution became a pre- 
ponderating influence in the struggle for order as against law- 
lessness, stability as against unbridled licence. Her efforts for 
peace culminated in the Treuga Dei, that first ' week-end ', by 
which it was agreed that from Saturday night to Monday morning 
private warfare should cease. 

Other movements for peace preceded the Treuga Dei, the 
Pactum fads or Pax Dei being one of the earliest. The inception 
of the latter may be traced to the council of Charroux (989),^ 
when three decrees were drawn up in the interests of peace and 
order. The anathema was to be declared (1) on any one who 
attacked or took prisoner an unarmed traveller, a priest, deacon, 
or clerk who was not bearing a shield, sword, buckler, or helmet, 
and was either at home or peaceably travelling. (2) On any 
who stole from a church. (3) On any who stole an ox, ass, cow, 
goat, deer, or pig from the poor, or from tillers of the soil (agricolae). 
The council was attended by the bishops and clerks of the 
province, as also by the laity, both men and women.^ 

^ Pertz, Scriptores, vii. p. 403, H. Flaviniac. Cf. Mansi, xix. p. 593. 
- Mansi, xix. p. 89. ^ Ibid., Omnis uterque sexus. 



In 990 two important councils were summoned by the bishops, 
the first at Narbonne, the second at Le Puy. The decrees of the 
first were directed against nobles who had overrun church 
property and attacked ecclesiastics. At the second the bishops 
proclaimed that all church property was to be held inviolate, and 
appealed for the security of the peasant, the labourer, and the 
travelling merchant. Three points are striking about these 
councils : (1) Their inception came from the church, a fact which 
gave the church a certain preponderance throughout the move- 
ment ; the penalties imposed were ecclesiastical ; the church's 
aim, while a 'priori to defend her property, soon developed into 
the wider ideal of extending protection to the defenceless and 
the weak. (2) The movement originated in Southern Gaul 
precisely in those provinces where Roman civilisation had been 
most firmly established, and where a lingering tradition of more 
settled times may have brought about this revival of the desire 
for peace.- The South had suffered less than the North from the 
attacks of barbarians, the conditions of society had changed less. 
Trade and commerce continued here where the great roads made 
by the Romans allowed communication between the Moors in 
Spain and the Christian world. If these were to flourish, peace 
was necessary. (3) Women as well as men were present at these 

These three councils were the first of many held to promote 
unions of peace. The higher ecclesiastics took the most important 
part at them, but the nobles co-operated in calling them together. 
In Aquitaine bishops, princes, and nobles together drew up resolu- 
tions against disturbers of peace, in a carta de treuga et de pace 
(990).^ All men were exhorted to be the ' sons of peace, because 
without peace no one will see the Lord '.^ The peace clauses 
here were more numerous, and more clearly defined than before. 
(1) No one was to break into any church situated in the dioceses 

^ Gall, Christ, ii. p. 825. 

- Ibid., Quia scimus quia -s/ne pace nemo videbit domiintm, ammonemus . . . 
ut sint Jilii pads. 


or territory of those present, and no one, except the bishop 
when he came for tribute, was to enter the enceinte of the fortifi- 
cations. (2) No one was to steal horses, oxen, cows, asses (nor 
the burdens with which they were laden), fowls, eggs, goats, nor 
swine from the sees or provinces of those present. (3) Clerks 
were not to carry secular arms, and monks and the defenceless 
were not to be attacked unless by the command of a bishop 
when collecting dues. (4) No one was to capture or hold a 
villein in order to force him to buy himself free again. (5) No 
one was to carry home or to use in defence of his, what was 
not his. (6) The Pax Dei was to be extended to merchants, who 
were not to be plundered when travelling. All those present 
were exhorted to come to a placitum Dei in October that they 
might swear to the peace. 

In 997 a pactum pads was inaugurated. In that year, in the 
hope of assuaging the wrath of the Lord, manifest in a terrible 
pestilence which had swept over the land and decimated the people, 
a three days' fast was proclaimed at Limoges by the abbot of 
St. Martial's, bishop Alduin, and duke William.^ The bishops 
of Aquitaine assembled at Limoges, relics of the saints were 
borne in procession, even the body of St. Martial being brought 
from the tomb. Nor did they fast in vain, for thereafter disease 
ceased, and all hearts were filled with great rejoicing. In 
gratitude an oath of peace and justice was sworn.^ The council 
of Poitiers, summoned by William of Aquitaine, marked a further 
development in the movement (1000), hostages being given for 
the restoring of peace and justice.^ Any dispute about theft in 
the past five years was to be examined before the chief men of 
the district. If justice was not enforced, the disputants could 
appeal to the nobles and bishops who had attended the council, 
who would meet again and pass sentence on the guilty. Cum- 
bersome as this machinery was, the idea underlying it is plain : 

1 Bouquet, x. 147. ^ Pertz, Script, iv. p. 132. 

^ Bouquet, x. p. 536. Mansi, xix. p. 267, dated 999, Firmaverunt per 
obsides et excommunicationem dux et reliqui principes huiusmodi pacts et iustitiat 


the system of self-help to be put down and one law enforced 
on all. The example was followed later by the men of Amiens 
and Corbel (1030).i 

After the year 1000 the work of peace was continued and 
with greater enthusiasm. Till then there had been a vague 
foreboding that the end of the world was at hand. What need, 
then, for peace ? But when the fatal year had passed, and the 
world still went on, it was more urgently felt that if life was to 
continue, the conditions of society would have to be ameliorated. 
In the last years of the century humanity had suffered very 
terribly. There had been famine throughout Europe, and 
incursions by the Saracens caused further misery. But when 
the first years of the eleventh century were safely over, then ' in 
almost all the world, especially in Italy and Gaul, Christians vied 
with one another in rebuilding and restoring churches. It 
seemed as if the church had thrown away age and clothed herself 
in the white garments of the saints, the faithful restoring almost 
all the churches of their respective dioceses, the monasteries of 
the saints, and the oratoria of the smaller vills.' ^ The hearts 
of men were thus more attuned to peace when a new impetus 
was given to the movement by Robert the Pious, who in 1010-11 
called a general assembly at Orleans to debate on the question. 
Fulbert of Chartres, in a letter to the king, rejoiced at the good 
news.^ Unfortunately, nothing is known about this council. 
Henceforth the king was a zealous supporter of peace councils, 
his ideal indeed going so far as to embrace the possibility of 
a general cessation of private warfare throughout all Europe, 
a chimerical Utopia for those times. He approached the 
emperor Henry II. with his project. In 1023 the two rulers 
met at Ivois on the Meuse to discuss the peace problem, and 
agreed to call a council at Pavia in a year's time, when peace 

^ Bouquet, x. p. 379. - Migne, 142, p. 651 ; Rod. Glab. iii. cap. 4. 

* Bouquet, x. 454, Audita inter alia quod concilium habiturus sis, cum 
principibus regni de pace componenda, gandeo. Cf. 467, Si ergo de iustitia, de 
pace, de statu regni, de honore ecclesiae vultis agere, ecce habetis me parvum 
satellitem pro viribus opitulari paratum. 


measures were to be drawn up and a scheme of churcli reform 
brought forward : Benedict VIII. was to preside, the princes and 
prelates of Germany, France, and Italy to attend. With the 
death of pope and emperor within the year the scheme was 

The next development of the peace movement came from 
Burgundy, a province not long incorporated in the Frankish 
kingdom. Hoping to heal the many wounds his numerous 
campaigns had inflicted, the king asked Hugh, bishop of Auxerre, 
to call a council to discuss measures of peace. Not only the 
bishops, but also an ' innumerable multitude of nobles and the 
common people ', men and women, attended. The importance 
of this council lay in the fact that the king definitely placed 
himself at the head of what till then had been an ecclesiastical 
movement. Next, in Northern France (1023), the bishops of 
Soissons, Beauvais, and Cambrai in the interests of the State 
(respublica) followed the example of their Burgundian brothers,^ 
because they recognised that the solemn sentences of the church 
would become a dead letter if the barons did not swear to cease 
their pillages. This council was interesting for two reasons : 
(1) that for the first time the oath of peace was taken by each 
noble individually ; (2) that this innovation aroused the strong 
disapproval of Gerald, bishop of Cambrai, who protested against 
the procedure as pernicious and dangerous : if every one took the 
oath it would undoubtedly lead to perjury, for it was impossible 
that every one should keep it : the oath infringed on the royal 
prerogative and would lead to a confusion of the spheres of the 
ecclesiastical and temporal powers which ought to be kept 
strictly apart, the function of the one being to pray, of the other 
to fight. His episcopal brothers censured this bold speaker as 
the enemy of peace, while his own retainers and the abbots so 
eagerly begged him to take the oath that he reluctantly consented. 

^ Bouquet, x. p. 201, Videntes episcopi . . . prae inbecillitate regis, 
peccatis quidem exigentibiis, statuni regni funditu^ inclinari, iura confundi, 
usumque patrium et omne genus iustitiae profanari, multum reipublicae succurrere 
tr^tmt, ^-^uf'^ymdiae episcoporum sententiam sequerentur. 
^ ' ■' '^^\ 




' Nevertheless, his foresight was justified by the event, and 
very few escaped the sin of perjury.' After tjiis councils were 
held in every civitas. At Hery, in the diocese of Auxerre, king 
Robert was himself present when an ' innumerable multitude ' 
of the common people of every age and of either sex assembled,^ 
relics of the saints were carried among them, and oaths sworn 
on the relics (1024). Two years later, at the council of Poitiers, 
the bishops of Burgundy and William of Aquitaine drew up 
new measures for protecting churches, monasteries, and their 
property. Again an ' innumerable multitude ' met, male and 
female, rich and poor, ecclesiastical and lay. In 1028 William 
of Aquitaine called a second council at Charroux to discuss 
questions of faith and to confirm peace. Similar meetings were 
held in Dijon, Beaune, and Lyons. 

A further development in the movement came from the 
North when the men of Amiens and Corbel mutually swore to 
an agreement for peace (1030). Vengeance had come on them 
from on high because they had never sworn to that peace w^hich 
God ordains. For such is the character of the men of Gaul 
that more than the men of any other nation they always want to 
fight.'^ To the chronicler there seemed little call for internecine 
strife. Pestilence and famine were already killing men off in 
hordes, and the world could no longer bear the anger of its Judge. 
The men of Amiens and Corbei therefore resolved to placate 
the God they had offended. A council was held, the relics of 
the saints brought forth, and on the relics an inviolable pact 
sworn, the men of the two towns, after consultation with their 
lords, agreeing to keep peace for a whole week. They further 
promised to return every year to Amiens on St. Firmin's day to 
confirm their oath ; to strengthen their resolve they received 
the holy sacrament. If strife arose among them no revenge 
by destruction or fire was to be taken until a day was appointed, 

1 Ibid. p. 375. 

- Bouquet, x. p. 378, Talis quippe consvetudo naturaliter iunaia est regno 
Gallorum, ut praeter ceteras vationes semper velint exercere rabiem bellorum. . . . 
Non necesse est velle tiiori in bello quia catervatim moriuntur famis el pesiis gladio. 


and notijce given before the church in the presence of the bishop 
and count. John XIX. confirmed this agreement. As a result, 
a new and salutary custom arose by which the men of the 
two towns annually met to exchange a reciprocal oath of 
peace. Eight days were set aside for prayer, disputes were 
settled, the unruly recalled to peace, and an opportunity given 
for mutual deliberation. Unfortunately this state of things was 
too good to last, familiarity bred contempt, and an innovation 
which had at first been greatly venerated began to be as greatly 

Throughout the rest of the kingdom the movement for peace 
continued. Terrible evils from on high had again forced men 
to think. The outburst of prosperity after the year 1000 did 
not last long, and as the ' fateful year approached which marked 
the thousandth anniversary after Christ's death ', a terrible 
famine ruled in the land. Such storms raged that the crops 
could not be harvested. So persistent was the rain that for 
three years it was almost useless to sow seeds. Famine arose in 
the East, depopulated Greece, spread to Italy, to Gaul, and 
finally to England. Every class suffered : ' not only the poor 
but even the higher and well-to-do classes grew pale with hunger, 
many fled from place to place, stayed at inns where they watched 
by night, and turned those who had received them into food.' 
Then, as if humanity had not suffered enough, after the famine 
came pestilence, and for three years the sound of weeping, of 
grief, and of sorrow was heard in the land. Society seemed to 
have fallen into perpetual chaos, and the human race to be 
brought to destruction. 2 

The aggravation of all these horrors by private warfare was 
indeed a mockery, and the church was not slow to preach that 
such evils must befall a lawless generation that sought not 
peace. She persevered in her work, aided by the king, who 
presided at the council of Bourges, called in the interests of 

^ Ibid., Coepit res ipsa usu vilescere et irreverentia fieri ex multa veneratione. 

2 Rod. Glab. iv. 4. 


peace (1031). In the same year, at the council of Limoges, 
bishop Jordan brought an indictment ^ against the barons and 
the laity of his diocese, who had attacked churches and church 
property, molested priests, clerks, and the poor, and shown no 
desire for peace, although he had pronounced a general peace 
for his diocese. The offenders were excommunicated, and a 
motion carried that their lands were to be laid under interdict 
if they continued in their evil doing. The sentence must have 
been most impressive, for at the words ' As these lights (lucanae) 
are extinguished before your eyes, so let their joy be extinguished 
before the angels,' bishops and priests dashed their lighted candles 
to the ground, and the heart of the people being greatly moved, 
all cried aloud, ' So let God extinguish the joy of him who is 
not willing to keep peace and justice.' ^ 

The prosperity and abundance which reigned from the 
thousandth year after the death of the Saviour also made for 
peace. A feeling of gratitude and relief was awakened throughout 
all classes. Peace assemblies were called more enthusiastically 
than ever, all rejoicing at the prosperous times, being ready to obey 
whatever measures the chiefs of the church deemed advisable. 
' It was as if a voice from heaven spoke down to earth ',^ and 
men, remembering the times of adversity through which they 
had passed, were chastened in spirit and terrified lest those evil 
days returned. The following decrees were drawn up : (1) Any 
person who took refuge in a church was to be in sanctuary ; 
(2) clerks, monks, and nuns were not to be oppressed. It was 
also agreed that wine would not be drunk for six days after the 
council, nor meat eaten for seven. So great was the fervour 
which filled all hearts that, when the bishop raised the ring to 
heaven, the multitude shouted ' Pax, pax, pax ! ' as if hailing 
in the ring a symbol of perpetual peace between themselves and 
God. 3 That the harvest was good that year, and that there 

* Labbe, ix. p. 870, Clamorem de secularibus potestatibus parochianis meis. 

- Mansi, xix. p. 530. 

3 Rod. Glab. iv. .5. Cf. Hugh de Flavigny, ii. 27, anno 1033. 



was great plenteousness of food and wine seemed a direct reward 
of good resolutions. In 1034, synods were held in Aquitaine, 
Aries, Lyons, Burgundy, and in the North of France, at one of 
which one bishop even affirmed that he had received letters 
from heaven exhorting him to renew peace on earth. ^ In 
Poitiers an important council was called by bishop Isembertus 
and a great peace proclaimed (1036). At the council of Bourges 
a further step was taken, in that all present pledged themselves 
to attack disturbers of the peace (1038). This was proposed by 
archbishop Aimo of Bourges, who, anxious to have peace 
established in his diocese, consulted his suffragans, and on their 
advice ordered that all the men in his diocese above fifteen 
years of age should pledge themselves to be the enemies of those 
who disturbed the peace, and, if necessary, to take up arms 
against them.^ The oath pledged each to proceed, without gift 
or favour of person, against those who seized church property, 
stirred up rapine, oppressed monks, nuns, and clerks, or 
attacked the church.^ 

The priests on several occasions took banners from the 
churches and led the people against disturbers of peace. In 
one encounter (according to the chronicler) the archbishop's men 
and seven hundred clerks were killed. A new cause of strife 
had arisen. 

Finally came that interesting branch of the peace movement, 

^ Mansi, xix. p. 530, Unus eorum caelitus sibi delatas dixit esse litteras, 
quae pctcem monerent renovandam in terram. Quayn rem mandavit ceteris et haec 
tradenda dedit populis. 

^ Huberti, Studien zur Bechtsgeschichte der Gottesfrieden, p. 217 : Pacem 
sub iurisiurandi sacramento in diocesi voluit sua . . . ut contra violatorem 
compacti foederis unanimi corde hostes existant, et distractioni rerum eorum 
nullo pacto se subducant ; quin etiam, si necessitas posceret, armis exturbanies 
appeterent. Non excipiuntur ipsi sacrorum ministri, sed a sanctuario domini 
correptis frequenter vexillis, cum extera multitudine populi in corruptores 
invehuntur iuratae pads. 

^ Ibid. p. 218, Ego Aimo archiepiscopus hoc toto corde et ore Deo Sanctisque 
eius promitto . . . toto impleam animo. Hoc est, ut pervasores ecclesiasticarum 
rerum, incentores rapinarum, oppressores monachorum, sanctimonialiwm et 
clericorum, omnesque sanctae matris ecclesiae imjmgnatores . . . totis viribus 
venire promitto. 


the Treuga Dei. The aim of the Pax Dei was to protect certain 
persons and property from the violence of the powerful. The 
aim of the Treuga was to stop private warfare for short but 
fixed intervals of time. The Pax took under its protection clerks, 
monks, pilgrims, women, children, labourers and their instru- 
ments of work, monasteries and cemeteries. These were to be 
undisturbed and in ' perpetual peace '. The Treuga was an 
attempt to put a check on the lawless barons who regarded 
private warfare as their prerogative.^ In this movement Odilo 
took an important part. 

The Treuga Dei seems to have been first definitely mentioned 
at the council of Elne ^ (1027). At that council many bishops, 
priests, the God-fearing of the dukes, and a multitude of the 
faithful, men and women alike, met together, and having prayed 
God to direct their judgement, drew up the following decrees : 
(1) No one in the retinue or diocese of those present was to 
attack an enemy from the ninth hour on Saturday till the first 
hour on Monday. This would allow all to pay due reverence to 
the Lord's Day.^ (2) No monk nor clerk without arms was to 
be attacked, nor any man walking with a woman, nor any man 
going to or returning from church or council. (3) No one was 
to attack, violate, despoil, nor enter by force a church or a 
house situated thirty paces from the church. The Treuga was 
drawn up because the divine law and Christian religion were no 
longer observed, iniquity abounded, and charity grew cold. 
Breach of the Treuga was to be visited by ostracism and excom- 
munication ; none of the faithful were to eat or drink with any 
one who broke it, nor to talk with them unless to convince them 
of the evil of their ways : no priest was to bury them, nor were 
the faithful to pray for them. 

Thus once more men had begun to build up peace, and in 

^ Luchaire, Histoire de France Lavisse, ii. 2. 

- Mansi, xix. 483, Caterva quoqiie fidelium, non solum vironnn sed efiam 

' Ibid., Ab hora sabhaii nona usque in die lu)iis liora prima, ut oinnis homo 
persolvat debitum honorem die dominico. 


that very* region where once the Pax Romana had done its civilis- 
ing work and reigned supreme, and from the modest and tentative 
proposal that from Saturday to Monday private warfare should 
cease. This indestructible idealism in the heart of humanity is 
an interesting phenomenon. Material force had brought society 
almost to destruction, yet at the very moment of its greatest 
triumph men looked to moral force to reconstitute society. 
And humanity's instinctive, if unconscious, faith in idealism was 
justified. From the thin wedge of the one day's peace, the 
larger European movement was to grow. In Gaul the principle 
of the Treuga seems to have made rapid progress, for in 1041 
an appeal went forth from the church in Gaul to the brethren 
in Italy. The appeal was headed by the names of Reginald, 
archbishop of Aries, Benedict, bishop of Avignon, Nithard, 
bishop of Nice, and Odilo, venerable abbot of Cluny, who with 
all bishops, abbots, and clerks living in Gaul appealed to all 
the archbishops, bishops, priests, and clerks of Italy ' to receive 
and keep ' the Treuga Dei, which, transmitted to them by the 
inspiration of the divine mercy, they had received and did firmly 
keep.^ The Treuga was to extend from sunset on Wednesday 
to sunrise on Monday, that men might meditate on the signifi- 
cance of those days : Thursday the commemoration of the 
Ascension, Friday the Passion, Saturday the Adoration at the 
tomb, Sunday the Resurrection. During these four days and 
nights firm peace and stable truce was to obtain among all 
Christians, friends and foes, neighbours and strangers.^ All 
were to be secure (securi) at every hour, and to do whatever was 
fitting, free from all fear of enemies because confirmed in the 
tranquillity of the Pax and Treuga.^ If theft was committed in 

^ Ibid. xix. 593, Recipite ergo, et tenete pacetn, et illam trevam Dei, quam et 
nos, divina inspirante misericordia de caelo nobis transmissam iam, accepiimus 
et firmiter tenemus. 

^ Ibid., Inter omnes christianos amicos et inimicos, vicinos et extraneos, sit 
firma pax et stabilis treuva. 

^ Ibid., Omni hora securi sint et faciant quidquid erit opportunum ah omni 
timore inimicorurn absoluti et in tranquillitate pads et istius treuvae confirmati. 


those days, the loser was not to seek his own, lest cause of strife 
should be given. ^ During them rural labour was to cease. ^ Any 
one who committed homicide during the Treuga was to be driven 
from his province and go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem. For any 
other breach of the Treuga the offender was to be examined by 
the secular law and forced to make reparation, after which 
double penance would be laid on him according to the holy 
canons.^ Nor were the framers of the appeal exempt. ' We 
think it right that if we break our promise we too shall be doubly 
condemned — both by secular and spiritual judgement.' * Any one 
who took vengeance on those who broke the Treuga would be 
held guiltless and blessed by all Christians as the cultores causae 
Dei.^ All who observed the Treuga were assured of absolution 
from Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and of union with Mary and 
her choirs of virgins, with St. Michael and his angels, with St. 
Peter, chief of the apostles, and with all the saints and faithful 
then and for ever. Those who swore to keep the Treuga and 
wittingly broke their oath would be excommunicated by 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, cut off from all the saints of 
God, and if they did not make amends, then and for ever 
excommunicate, damned, and accursed, with Dathan, Abiram, 
and Judas who betrayed the Lord. Like Pharaoh who sank 
to the bottom of the Red Sea, they would sink to the depths 
of Hell. 

In the life of the bishop of Autun there is a reference to 
Odilo's work for the Treuga. The aged bishop was wont to tell 
that by divine revelation the Treuga was instituted by Odilo of 

^ Ibid., Si vero residuis diebus aliquid suhlatnm fuerit, et in diebus treuvae 
obviaverit, amine non teneatur, ne occasio inimico data videatur. 

'" Ibid., Ab omnibus riirale opus in ea omnino non fieret impositum. 

^ Ibid,, Si vero in aliis quibuslibet rebus supradictam treuvam . . . frcgerit, 
examinaius per decreta legnm secularium iuxta modum cul})orum cogatur 
persohere et per sanctorum cnnonum regulas duplicata poenitentia iudicabitur. 

* Ibid., Quod ideo dignuni ducimus ut si promissionem illic factam in 
aliquo corrumpere praesumpserimns mundnno ct spirilali iudicio duphciter 
condemn em ur. 

^ Ib.d.. Cum autem evenerit cuiquam vindicare in eos, qui hanc chartum, 
et Del treuvam irrumpere praesumpserint. vindicantes nuUi culpae habeantur. 


Cluny, and that all agreed to receive and keep it.^ But, alas, 
as Rodulf Glaber mourned, the human race soon forgets. Old 
sins revived and the efficacy of a movement that had started 
with such high hopes and noble enthusiasm died down. 

In what was destined to be another world-wide movement 
Odilo also took a chief part, for according to our authorities 
it was by his inspiration that a day of special intercession for 
the faithful dead was set apart. The legend of All Souls' Day 
ran as follows : ^ 

A monk of Rodez was returning from a pilgrimage to Jeru- 
salem. When crossing the sea from Thessaly to Sicily a storm 
broke and drove the boat on to an island or rock. There a 
hermit had lived for many years, and with him the monk talked. 
The hermit, learning that he was a native of Aquitaine and knew 
Odilo of Cluny, gave him a message for the monks. Near the 
island where he lived great fires belched forth, into which, by the 
manifest judgement of God, rows of tortured sinners were thrust. 
A multitude of demons received them and renewed their torments 
and unbearable sufferings. But often the hermit heard the 
demons lament, that through the prayers and almsgiving of the 
monks so many of the damned went free, and more particularly 
through the prayers of Odilo and the monks of Cluny. He 
therefore implored those virtuous ones to be more and more 
instant in prayer, vigils, and almsgiving. By these means they 
would cause the angels to rejoice and the devil to rage. When 
the monk returned home he sent the message to Cluny. Great 
was the joy and amazement of the brothers.^ In their gratitude 

^ Pertz, Scriptores, viii. 403, Hugo Flaviniac : Superest adhuc Iduensis 
episcopus, . . . qui referre solitus est quia cum a sancto Odilone et ceteris ipsa 
divinis revelationihus instituta treuga Dei appellata, et ab Austrasiis suscepta 
fuisset, et voluntas omnium in hoc esset una et ubique servaretur, negotium hoc 
impositum. ^ Vita Jotsaldo, ii, 13. 

^ Ibid., Ad Cluniacum admirationem non parvam cum maxima cordis 
letitia sumpserint. Rod. Glaber gives a slightly different version of the legend, 
the monastery in question being Maior Monasteriura and the meeting-place 
Africa. There in the desert an anchorite had dwelt for twenty years, living on 


to God, they added prayers to prayers, and alms to alms, until 
Odilo bethought himself of setting aside a special day of inter- 
cession for the souls of the faithful, to be observed in all the 
houses under him, i.e. 2nd of November, the day following All 
Saints' Day. Special psalms, prayers, and giving of alms were 
appointed.^ After the meeting of the chapter, the deacon and 
cellarer were to distribute bread and wine to the poor who had 
been at mass ; the poor were also to have for dinner what 
remained over from the brothers' refection. The office for the 
dead was to be read, a tractus sung by two brothers, and the 
monks to say private prayers and public masses for all the faith- 
ful dead. At night twelve poor men were to be given food. 
Silence was to be enforced during periods of the day. ' By the 
throwing of this dart it was hoped that the adversary would 
suffer more and more.' 

Another story was specially treasured at Cluny as showing 
the value of those prayers to offer up which th>e monk thought 
it his highest privilege to dedicate his life. Benedict VI., a 
pope who delighted in Odilo's society and loved him with great 
affection, died. For long his soul remained in purgatory, God 
having resolved by this means to make manifest the merit of 
Odilo. One night Benedict appeared to John, bishop of Porto, 
and two of his friends, lamenting that he was still held in the 
shades of purgatory, and not advanced to the realms of light. 
He begged his startled hearers to send to Odilo, and implore 
him to pray that his (the bishop's) soul might be saved from 
torment. John and his friends immediately hastened to the 
pope, who, sorrowing greatly for his brother, sent John to Cluny. 
On his way the bishop stopped at St. Maiolus', Pavia, where 

herbs and seeing no man. Finally, one bold seeker found out his retreat, and 
was told that before all monasteries in the Roman kingdom, the prayers of 
the monks of Maior Monast(M'him wore most efficacious in freeing souls from 
damnation, and that on All Souls' J)ay at Maior ]\Ionasterium mass was 
celebrated from daybreak till the iunir of refection, with such dignity and 
reverence, that it seemed rather divine than human. 
1 Bibl. Chin. 


he told the story to the great excitement of the abbot, who 
begged to accompany him. However, they decided that a 
letter would arrive sooner. ' By the divine providence ' the 
letter found Odilo at Cluny. 

After reading it, Odilo called the brothers together, and 
earnest prayers were offered for the soul of the pope. ' After 
prayers alms were distributed, a charity the burden of which 
was very dear to the senior es.' Odilo next appointed fixed 
hours for the offering of special prayers and giving of alms, not 
only at Cluny but also at all the Cluniac houses. Not long after, 
a monk of Cluny saw a form conspicuous in light enter the 
cloisters, followed by a great multitude in white robes. All 
proceeded to the chapter where Odilo sat with the holy senate. 
There the first figure humbly bent his head on the knees of the 
father. The monk asked who the shining one was, and learned 
that it was Benedict, humbly giving thanks to Odilo, by virtue 
of whose prayers he had escaped the depths of hell, and soared 
to the blessed on high. Next day, remembering all with tenacious 
memory, he told the brothers. All feared with holy awe, and 
all rejoiced that it had been so clearly manifested how great 
Odilo's favour with the Trinity was, ' since by his merit even 
the prey caught in the jaws of death was enabled to escape '.^ 

^ Vita Jotsaldo, ii. 14. Jotsaldus adds the caution ' that it is most vain 
to be always observing signs and dreams '. 



Of the monasteries which came under Cluny when Odilo was 
abbot, one of the first was St. Victor's, Geneva, the gift of bishop 
Hugh. The bishop had often deliberated with himself, and 
discussed with his friends how the religious houses of his diocese 
might be restored : his opportunity over St. Victor's came in 
this wise. The empress Adelheid, on a visit to Geneva, entered 
St. Victor's to pray, and was so struck by the suitability of the 
site for a monastery that she mentioned the fact to the bishop. 
Soon afterwards the bones of martyrs were discovered on the 
very spot. With great ceremony the bones were raised from the 
ground, and buried under the altar of the church in the presence 
of king Rudolf, queen Agildrude, and a great company of bishops, 
religious, monks, and noblemen. After further consideration 
the bishop decided to build cells for the monks round the church, 
but as the monastery thus formed did not have enough property 
to support an abbot, after consultation with king Rudolf, his 
brother Burchard, archbishop of Lyons, the counts, and other 
noblemen of the district, the bishops begged Odilo to undertake 
the duty. St. Victor's monastery and church was thus com- 
mitted to him and his successors to be held in perj)etuity from the 
bishops of Geneva, for the bishop did not wish to take any power 
from his cathedral, but only to establish religious life there, and 
most excellent love between his successors and the abbots of 
Cluny (993-99).! 

From the bishop of Riez Cluny received the church and 

^ Bruel, iii. 1984. Cf. Vitn Jotsaldo, i. 13, Locus sancti Victor is Geveveyh^is 
praeter suani aniiquam et nobllem ecclesiam ex toto suo tempore construct us. . . . 
Quia non erat in eodem loco tanta facultas possessionis, ut aliquis ibi potuisset 
ordinari loco abbatis. 



altar e ob Valensolle, for he felt that as earthly fathers ought to 
lay up treasures for their sons, so those called fathers in the spirit 
should advance their sons' interests in material as well as spiritual 
things. Therefore in answer to the request of the congregation of 
Cluny sent by Rainald, the prior, he gave the church on the condi- 
tions agreed between them, i.e. the monks were to pay eighty solidi 
to the funds of his church and synodal service annually — rten 
denarii in May and ten in October. They could hold, order, or 
give away the church. Neither the bishop, his successors, nor 
the archdeacon when visiting the parishes of the diocese were 
to require hospitality or build little houses there (mansionaticos), 
lest this should be a burden to the monks. The ' writing ' 
was drawn up pro signo socialitatis that the members of his 
church and their monastery might, alive or dead, mutually share 
in each other's good deeds.^ Later, Odilo asked the bishop's 
permission to build a monastery near the church of Valensolle. 
The bishop assented, having received from the monks four 
pounds of denarii, eight measures of wheat and of wine.^ Neither 
the bishop, his successors, nor any other men were to have 
authority over the monastery, nor ask oblations and burial 
dues from it. 

Walter, bishop of autun (994-1000), on the advice of his 
clerks and other sons of the church, gave the Cluniacs the 
monastery of Magabrense, in the hope that his church and Cluny 
might remain bound by the chain of love as in the time of Maiolus, 
and continue ' untroubled ' for all time.^ 

In 998 a new monastery was founded at Bevais above Lake 
Neuchatel, and given to Cluny by a certain Rudolf,^ who had 
learned from the Scriptures that the wicked would receive pain, but 
the good would be granted pleasant homes in heaven. Anxious 
to atone for his sins, he could think of no better way than to 
found a monastery, where daily due service might be rendered 
to God. When the monastery was built, the monks of Peter- 

1 Bruel, iii. 1990 (993-1031). ^ Ibid. iii. 1991. 

3 Ibid. iii. 2276. * Ibid. iii. 2453. 


lingen advised him to ask the bishop of Lausanne to dedicate it, 
which he, being good and noble, did. Rudolf then richly 
endowed the monastery with a church, lands in various districts, 
ten manors, thirty-five serfs with their wives and children, and 
placed it under Odilo and his successors, who were to pay Rome 
two solidi annually, so that (ea ratione) any one who disputed 
the charter might be bound by the chain of anathema. That 
the gift might remain firm and stable he wished to appoint one 
of his heirs to be advocatus after his death, and to rule and govern 
according to the will of Odilo and his monks. In succeeding 
ages that office was always to belong to one of his descendants. 
In 999 Hugh, count of Chalon and bishop of Auxerre, gave 
Oluny Paray with its churches, vills, manors, fields, vines, mills, 
and serfs.^ His father, advised by Maiolus, had founded the 
monastery, adorned it suitably, and loved it beyond all places. 
He had declared it free from all local authority and lay domination, 
that the- monks might serve God there under their own pastor. 
But, alas, iniquity abounded, charity grew cold, and the bishop 
saw that the monastery could not of itself remain in that state 
which his father intended. Therefore, on the advice of king 
Rudolf and his fellow bishops, he gave it wholly to Cluny, with 
its churches, vills, lands, and serfs. The king confirmed the 
charter. About the same time, through count Otto William, 
St. Cyprian's, Poitiers, came under Cluny. ^ An abbot was 
appointed who had such difficulties with his monks that Abbo 
of Fleury wrote asking Odilo to exercise his authority and en- 
force discipline (1004). In the same district St.-Jean-d-Angely 
was subjected to Cluny. Great excitement had been aroused at 
St. Jean's by the discovery of a head in the wall, which abbot 
Alduin hailed as the head of John the Baptist (1010). The 
discovery was celebrated with much ceremony in the presence of 
the kings of France and Navarre, the count of Gascony, many 

1 Ibid. iii. 2484. 

- Sackur, ii. p. (58, Mignc, 139, p. 438, Ahhonis Epi.^l. xii. ad OdUoneni : 
Quern locum 'postqunni reperi vestrae subdiUim ditioni nostrum crcdidi. 


bishops .and abbots. Odilo reformed the abbey, over which he 
appointed one of his monks abbot.^ In 1011 Le Moutier de 
Thiers became Cluny's.^ It had belonged to a secular lord Wido,^ 
' very rich and noble, and though a layman praiseworthy for 
many things ' (per multa laudahilis). He, seeing that the con- 
dition of men was going from bad to worse and to headlong and 
daily ruin, consulted his wife and three sons, and resolved to 
reform Thiers, which ' had been neglected by his forefathers 
more than was fitting '. For a time his scheme had no 
success ; the abbot he appointed died, and the monastery, 
deprived of its father, seemed destitute of all human help. Then 
the monks, with the consent of Wido and his retainers, chose 
as abbot a certain Peter, a man of distinguished birth and of 
blessed simplicity. But though he did his best to uphold 
discipline, his influence was rendered negligible by the malice of 
men. So, remembering how it is written, ' Woe unto him 
who is alone when he falleth ', he begged Odilo of Cluny to bear 
the burden with him. With Wido's joyful consent it was 
arranged that he was to hold the monastery, ruling over it with 
Odilo's help, and on his death Odilo and his monks were to rule, 
order, and dispose it ' in the same way as Sauxillanges, Souvigny, 
and not a few other distinguished houses, which for long had 
firmly belonged to the noble Cluny '. Wido then richly endowed 
the abbey with land and serfs, and at the same time gave 
up his right to all the evil and importunate exactions which 
his predecessors and even he himself had unjustly demanded. 

La Volta,* in the diocese of Auvergne, was built by Odilo and 
his relatives (1025). His brothers had thought of founding a 
monastery, a project which death cut short. Their sons, with 
Odilo and his other nephews, relatives, and many of the faithful, 
met to discuss what they could do for the dead men's souls. 
There seemed to them nothing better than to carry out the 
deceased's intention of building a monastery. Neighbours 

1 Gallia Christ, ii. 1097 ; Ademar, iii. cap. 56. ^ Bruel, iii. 2682. 

■^ Probably Guy II., viscount of Thiers. ^ La Voute-pres-Chilhac. 


and friends heartily approved, and on the little hill of Volta, 
near the river, the foundations of the church were laid. The 
bishop of Clermont was asked to consecrate the oratory. At 
the dedication, Odilo, his nephews, brothers, and sisters ' offered 
to the hierarchy of heaven property which, gained worthily 
by their ancestors, had descended to them from their parents 
by hereditary right ' ; i.e. the hill Volta, surrounded by a river, 
across the river a church, with its lands and tenths, three vills, 
part of two others, two little vills, a manor, and two churches. 
The monastery was adorned with skilful work, and suitably 
provided with books and ornaments. Exempt from all dues, 
it was placed under the protection of Rome and the direction 
of the abbots of Cluny.^ 

In the same year Amadeus I., count of Savoy, and his wife, 
in order to participate in the prayers of the monks, gave them 
the church of St. Maurice, Malaucene, reserving for themselves, 
their children, their descendants the rights of patronage and 

In 1029 Rudolf III. of Burgundy, at the request of count 
Rainald, confirmed Cluny's possession of the monastery of Vaux, 
near Poligny, Besan9on, with its lands and tenths, three vills 
in different districts and their churches (one the vill Mantes), 
vineyards, alods, fisheries, serfs, salt pits, and four large vessels 
for cooking salt (ferreas caldarias), everything the count and his 
father, count Otto William (who built the monastery), had given, 
and everything the monks might in the future gain in the bioy.^ 

In the same year Isembertus, bishop of Poitiers, wished to 
make known that viscount Kadolein and his son, grieving over 
their past life and converted to good, with pious mien and humble 

^ Ibid. iii. 2788, The charter is written hi the first person, Odilo addressing 
all foreigners and citizens of the region and county. It seemed only right that 
Cluny should gain something from the famil3''s poverty, since by the reverence 
and merit of that holy place, one of them had gained honour before God and 
before men. Cf. Vita Jotsaldo, i. 13. 

^ Bihl. Clun. p. 412, Quod vocatur ius patronatus, et ius praesentandi. 

^ Bruel, iv. 2817 ; cf. 2890. The monastery had been built by count Otto 
William, consecrated by the bishop of Autun, and put under Cluny in perpetuity. 


countenance, begged him by his ecclesiastical authority to grant 
in writing a privilege to the ecclesia of Molgon. He, not com- 
pelled by greed, but moved by their humble prayer, consented, 
and decreed that it and its property should never again be sold 
or bought, nor pay dues, nor be in subjection to the lay power, 
but be under his authority and the rule (regimen) of the monks 
of Cluny. To this the consent of his canons, of the abbots of 
Poitiers, and of the princes of Aquitaine had been given.^ 

In 1031 Bernard, bishop of Cahors, and his brother gave Cluny 
St. Sernin's, Carennac, with everything belonging to it, except a 
third of a rivulet, which the brother retained. The church had 
belonged to the cathedral of Cahors, and lest any one objected 
to this alienation, the bishop gave the cathedral another church 
which was his by hereditary right. The agreement was signed 
in the chapter at Cahors before the whole body of canons, abbots, 
priests, archdeacons, clerks, and other men.^ 

In 1032 the archbishop of Besan9on, at the request of the 
distinguished abbot Odilo, gave Cluny the altare of the monastery 
Vaux, near Poligny, Besan9on. The bishop recalled that Christ 
committed His church first to the apostles, then to the bishops, 
many of whom with fervent zeal had watched solicitously over 
the clerks and monks of their flock, until at the end of the last 
century, iniquity abounding and charity growing cold, they had 
become lax. He called on his episcopal brethren, therefore, to 
awake from sleep, and to follow his example by doing good, 
joyfully and with more generous hand, to those houses of the 
saints where they knew the grace of the Spirit most fervently 
to abound. As a reward for sharing their temporal goods with 
such houses they would participate in the merits of the monks. 
Besides the altare, he gave to the little monastery tenths, burial 
dues, and oblations from the vill Mantes, and two chapels with 
their tenths, burial dues, and oblations, on condition that at the 
synodal season the monks of Poligny should pay to his cathedral, 
as had been done in the past, a fourth of the paratae and eulogiae. 
1 Ibid. iv. 2816. 2 i^id. iv. 2856. 


To all this wealth of almsgiving, the bishop ended with conscious 
virtue, he added bagarna ^ in Graus, for which the monks were not 
to neglect to pay his successors three measures of salt annually. 

In 1037 Aymar, count of Valence, his wife and five sons, 
gave Cluny the abbey of St. Marcel's, Sauzet, with land, 
woods, meadows, vineyards, waters, mills, pasture. For long 
the abbots of St. Marcel's had been careless and neglectful of 
the cure of souls, and the viscount wished to see the spiritual 
life of the abbey restored.^ Four years before Odilo's death, 
St. Saviour's, Nevers, which belonged to the jurisdiction of 
bishop Hugh of Nevers, was put under Cluny (1045).^ Famous 
in former times, St. Saviour's had been so much neglected by 
the bishop's predecessors that ' almost all knowledge of the 
Benedictine rule was lost ' (eliminatam). Wishing to see it 
restored to its former greatness, the bishop on the advice of its 
abbot, his clerks, and the faithful of the diocese, ceded it to 
Cluny, that by the prayers of the monks his and their names 
mxight be written in the book of the living. The canons of St. 
Cyr, who had rights over St. Saviour's, gave their consent to the 
gift. In the vill Sarrians, given to Maiolus by William, duke of 
Provence, a Cluniac monk (frater et monachus) built an ecclesia 
to which he gave a manor as endowment.* 

Cluniac influence spread to Spain through the reforming zeal 
of Sanchius the Great. Sanchius held himself responsible for 
the secular and ecclesiastical welfare of the kingdom. His task 
filled him with fear and awe, but he had prayed to God for 
strength, intelligence, and wisdom. He felt that his prayer had 
been heard when God granted him to expel many of the Moors 
from his kingdom ' as all the world knew '. Wishing to show 
his gratitude, he could think of no better way than to revive 
monastic life, which was unknown in his kingdom, though the 
most perfect (perfectissimus) of all ecclesiastical orders.^ He 

1 Bagerna (Ducange) = vessels for cooking salt. ^ Ibid. iv. 2921. 

=^ Ibid. iv. 29G1. * Ibid. iv. 2866. 

^ Ibid. iii. 2891. The charter is addressed to the pope, archbishops, 
bishops, all ecclesiastics, and all Christian people. 


himself had wished to be a monk, remembering that it was 
written, ' Go, sell all that thou hast, and follow Me.' He had 
sorrowed greatly that the command was not for him, but had 
prayed God to give him help to illuminate the darkness of his 
kingdom with monastic virtue. Having consulted the prudent 
and religious men of the kingdom he learned that Cluny shone 
more brightly in the regular life than any other monastery. He 
therefore sent Paternus with a devout company of religious 
companions to study the perfect monastic life at Cluny, and to 
bring back to the thirsty the drink of the monastic profession. 
On his return, Paternus was appointed abbot of St. John's, 
Pena, a monastery favoured with royal gifts and many privileges. 

Next the bishops, clerks, nobles, and common people begged 
the king to reform Ona (Castile), a monastery founded by count 
Sanchius, once richly endowed with lands and goods, but fallen 
into decadence. Paternus was consulted, Ona was put under the 
Benedictine rule, the women expelled,^ and monks brought 
there, one of whom Paternus instructed in the duties of abbot. 

The king granted the monastery a royal charter. It was 
autonomous. No king, duke, count, bishop, secular nor ecclesi- 
astical person was to disturb or enter it without the abbot's 
consent. The monks were to elect their abbots, whom the bishop 
of the diocese, if he was a Catholic and would do so without 
payment (sine pretio), was to consecrate : if not, the metropolitan 
was to be approached : failing him, Rome. The abbot had full 
power over the monastery's land and property. Only he could 
expel or admit a monk. He could not be deposed nor suspended 
except for a capital and venal offence, and after canonical sentence 
passed in a general and Catholic council. Interdict laid on the 
province was not to apply to the monastery. A terrible anathema 
was called down on any one who violated the charter. 

^ Ibid., Depulsisque mulieribus monasterio sine aliqua reverentia habi- 
tantibus. Cf. Vita Enecorus, cap. 3, Pulsis ex eo monialibus quaruni vita 
parum monasticae regulae respondebat. Count Sanchius had originally founded 
a double monastery, inhabited by monks and nuns (Gams, Kirchengeschichte 
von Spanien, ii. 2, p. 419). 


During this period there were not so many gifts from bishops, 
and those mostly monasteries put under Cluny. Several churches 
were given, and land, e.g. the bishop of Grenoble (996) gave 
half a castrum with his house to Cluny, the whole of a burg with 
its church and all belonging to it, also another church with tenths, 
cemeteries, and oblations.^ In 1006 Liebald, bishop of Macon, 
' willingly obeying the voice of Odilo and his monks ', gave two 
little serfs (servulos) to the Doorkeeper of Heaven.^ In 1019, 
when presiding at a synod he was asked by Odilo and his monks 
to grant Cluny the church of St. Sulpicius, with its tenths 
and all belonging to it, in perpetuity. After consultation with 
his canons he consented, reserving for the cathedral synodal 
service, paratae et eulogiae.^ Geoffrey, bishop of Chalon, sit- 
ting at the general council with his canons, was humbly asked 
by Odilo for the altar e and tenths of a church at Juilly, 
for which he was to receive another church. He consented and 
decreed that no future bishop of Chalon was to dispute the gift, 
nor demand any dues from the monks, except synodal service,* 
Hugh, bishop of Autun (1019), gave half a curtis and praised his 
sister and her husband for giving the other half. In gratitude 
the monks gave him a censer weighing five pounds gold.^ Walter, 
bishop of Besan9on, at the request of the monks and because he 
had always been bound in special friendship with Cluny and hoped 
to participate in the monks' good deeds, gave them the altare 
of St. Stephen, Porto, tenths and other dues, saving eulogiae ct 
fanitae.^ Gauzlin, bishop of Macon, exchanged lands with 
Odilo (1023)."^ Walter, another bishop of Macon, confirmed a 
gift of land made by his mother to Cluny (1047).^ 

Certain other charters are of interest. One is somewhat 
quaint : A certain man, speechless and at death's door, was 
carried by his relatives to Cluny, where he died. In the first 
flush of their grief the relatives decided to give the seniores 

1 Ibid. iii. 2307. - Ibid. iii. 263(5. ^ i\^-^^ ^u. 2721. 

■• Ibid. iii. 2(592. ^ ly^^^ jji 2722. « Ibid. iii. 2740. 

' Ibid. iii. 2783. 8 i\^^^ j^ 2965. 



part of a' vill, a freehold (franchisia) in another vill, a field, and 
a female serf for the good of the dead man's soul. Eleven of 
the relations, i.e. a mother with her six sons and four daughters, 
and four of the friends signed the deed of gift. After a time 
the six brothers, ' blinded by greed ', threatened to take the serf 
back, maintaining that they had never really given her. Odilo 
immediately summoned the malcontents to the cloisters at Cluny, 
and before the font, on the festival of St. Paul's, showed them 
the charter of gift. Of those present some acknowledged it, but 
others denied it. Partly by his sweet speech, partly by a gift 
of 23 solidi, Odilo persuaded all to sign a second time.^ 

Another charter contains a clamor de malis? A certain lord 
Bernard did harm to Odilo and his monks by giving them a 
wood for their own (in propria) and then putting his pigs to 
feed there. The monk in charge took some of them as pledges. 
Bernard put them back. The monk retaliated by killing them. 
Bernard then made him pay for them. In the same wood he 
gave a vill to the monks, then took the dues and they had nothing. 
Besides, men who had no right to be there held the land of St. 
Mary's, Bernard taking their services : daily they did the day's 
work from their castellum, fed the dogs, did much damage, and 
carried off wood. The monk Odo received dues from the land 
of St. Mary's. Bernard made him return them. These and other 
unheard-of ills he did, too numerous to be written down. 

A dispute over meadow land between Odilo, his prepositus, and 
Elizabeth, abbess of Balma, was amicably settled at Cluny before 
the abbots of St. Benigne's, St. Evre's, St. Stephen's, the pre- 
positus and deacon of Langres, Erluin skilled in human and 
divine wisdom, and other clerks and noblemen. The decision 
of these able men was to be final, ' for the dispute had continued 
long, though not in anger, nor bitterness, but in peace, tran- 
quillity, and legitimate reasoning '. However, they were not 
called on to give judgement, for the abbess and her nuns, that 
good fellowship might continue, preferred to give up the pasture 

1 Ibid. iii. 2009. ' Ibid. iii. 2142. 


land in question which indeed was useless to them. The monks, 
for the great love they bore the nuns, presented them with a 
small gift (parva satis munuscula), i.e. 100 solidi of public 
money. ^ 

One charter records a slanderous attack on Cluny, when 
(1020) before Odilo and count William, at Macon, the sons of 
a certain Heluin accused the monks of having taken their lands 
and manors, and of having carried off some silver vases. All 
present swore that this was false, a lie, and unjust. A few 
charters deal with compensation for murder ; e.g. for the murder 
of a miles at Cluny the monks were given a manor, a serf living 
there with his wife and children, and a curtilus in the vill Car- 

In another case where a man was killed before the very gates 
of Cluny, the murderer and his accomplices were brought before 
Rainald the prior by Walter the clerk. Besides paying the 
customary 60 solidi (for which sureties were given) the criminal 
ceded to the monks land which he had long held in beneficio, and 
swore on the holy relics never to disturb Cluny's possession of it. 
He also gave the monks a manor, the possession of which he 
had long disputed with them.^ ' It is pleasing to add that, on 
the day of his funeral, his wife and son acknowledged the agree- 
ment before many witnesses, and sealed their testimony with a 
stone ' — a scrupulous fulfilment of liabilities evidently rare ! 
Another case of murder where the victim was only one of Cluny's 
serfs was more lightly settled, the dead man being replaced by 
the son of his murderer. The statement of the owner ran : ' I, 
my wife and children, give Cluny a serf Dunarrunus, son of 
Dehonus, in place of another serf whom Dehonus killed ' — 
a case of the child indeed paying for the sins of the father. 
The monks of Cluny were to do what they would with Dunar- 
ranus.^ One charter gave the formula by which the father of 

1 Ibid. iii. 2043. - Ibid. iii. 2784. 

^ Ibid. iv. 2848. The accomplices, one a priest and one a miles, had to 

stand security each for a hundred solidi. Pro malcjitio infra salvitatem perpetrato 

iuxta consuetudiiieni. * Ibid. iv. 2849. 


the bishop of Macon enfranchised a serf (a clerk), proclaimed him 
free from all servitude save that of God and the monks whose 
seniores he begged to love and defend and with all honour guard 
and keep him.^ After Odilo's death, once when his successor 
Hugh was at Chalon the gift was confirmed again by the donor, 
his two sons and grandson. In gratitude to Odilo who had 
rescued him from captivity, a man gave his paternal inheritance 
to Cluny and proclaimed himself Odilo's ' man '. Of his three 
brothers, two became monks. The third, still a minor, was to 
hold his share of the paternal inheritance in beneficio from St. 
Peter. On his death it reverted to Cluny. Several other charters 
may be quoted. Archimbald, viscount of Macon, before setting 
out on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, gave the monks an ecclesia, a 
manor, and a wood, to be held in trust until he returned. On his 
return, in generous mood he gave them the manor and its serfs. ^ 
Two years later (1039) he gave the ecclesia, having reflected that 
if they who throw grain on the earth to receive back a hundred- 
fold are wise, much more so are they who give earthly things to 
receive eternal. All he had formerly given the ecclesia was to 
serve for the use of the monks who were to have a perpetual 
habitation there, subject to the will of the abbot of Cluny. ^ 
He also confirmed a charter by which his father left a curtis 
to Cluny. 

A man and his brothers ceded to Cluny in perpetuity their 
dues from a vill with the stipulation that on the anniversary 
of their father's death the seniores would always give a very 
generous refection to the monks that they might the better bear 
the anniversary in mind ! * A woman, who had just married a 
second husband, gave the monks land, a female serf, and her 
children, for the soul of her first husband.^ 

^ Ibid. iv. 2869, Dono mei iuris servum clericum ut ab hac die a mea sit 
servitute et omniutn parentum meorum extorris, extraneus et alienus et liber 
quatenus nullius mortali homini servire cogatur nisi Domino, 88. Petro et Paulo 
et monachis de Climiaco tali tenore tali ration e ut seniores ilium jpro Dei honor e 
et amore diligant. ^ Ibid. iv. 2922, 

3 Ibid. iv. 2932. ^ Ibid. iv. 2940. ^ Ibid. iv. 2946. 


A ' noble woman ' who wished to enfief land given to the 
monks came to Cluny with her request. The land was granted 
her for her own and her son's lifetime at a yearly rent of 35 solidi, 
which if she failed to pay one year was to be doubled the next. 
In goodwill she also agreed to give 40 solidi, a mule valued at 
100 solidi, and a saddle. After her own and her son's death the 
property reverted to Cluny. ^ A man at his death left property 
to Cluny. His wife and sons, who had not consented to the gift, 
showed their ill-will by doing as much harm (injurias) as they 
could to the monks. This injustice the latter bore so meekly 
that the sinners returned to a better state of mind, and before 
the count of Macon and other nobles made a large gift of property 
to Cluny. 

Count Otto himself, knowing that pervasores and other 
persons who unjustly held church property were an abomination 
to the Lord, restored to Cluny two vills which he had devastated. 
A more cogent reason may have been the fact that Odilo, ' a man 
loved by all ', was suing him before duke Henry and his counts. 
One transfer of a grant of land, in the presence of bishop Walter 
and the monks, was made good by the giving of a stone.^ 

Churches in those days seem to take the place of the modern 
company, and their dues that of the modern investment ; e.g. a 
donor who held two-thirds of a church gave in hereditario a 
third to Cluny and his son, a monk, and a third to his wife and 
daughter ; the other third belonged to his sister. A man and 
his wife gave Cluny a church with the cultivated and uncultivated 
land belonging to it. They were to hold it for life, and in 
investiture were to give the burial dues in their entirety, and 
without delay, and annually two measures of wine, and one- 
tenth ' of the fruit of their labours '.^ A repentant sinner who 
had made unjust claims on property and land adjoining his, 
thereby stirring up much mischief against the monks, begged for 
pardon. He renounced the evil and unjust dues he had taken 
from a church, its grounds and cemetery, and promised not to 

1 Ibid. iv. 2883. - Ibid. iv. 2870. ^ Ibid. iv. 2914. 


support the priest there if he annoyed the monks or took ser- 
vitium which belonged to them. To make his pardon doubly sure, 
he also gave up whatever rights he had in four manors, two given 
to the monks by his sister, that the love and benevolence which 
had existed between them and his parents should remain firm 
and uncorrupted, and descend to his successors. The monks 
could always rely on his fidelity. He commended his body to 
them for burial.^ 

A repentant sinner, remembering the injuries he had done 
the monks, the dues he had exacted from them, and the unjust 
claims he had stirred up against them, thereby having for long 
afflicted the servants of St. Peter, and roused the apostle's anger 
against him, confessed his guilt before Odilo and his monks. 
The charter of his misdeeds was drawn up because he wished to 
have it put on record that his conduct had been without justifi- 

1 Ibid. iv. 2905. 



Long before Odilo died he longed for death, life being to him a 
burden and death the reward. In the last five years of his life 
he suffered very terribly.^ Once thinking the end near, he 
hastened to Rome, hoping to die there protected by the apostles. 
But man's fate is not in his own hands. After four months' 
illness he recovered and returned to Cluny, where he lived ten 
months longer. ^ 

He often stayed in the Holy City for weeks and months. 
During his last visit, at the time of the papaL election and the 
imperial coronation, he spent all his time in praying at the 
different churches of the city and in giving alms to the poor. 
He passed the Epiphany sorrowful that he must leave Rome. 
He spent his last day in St. Peter's still hoping that he might be 
allowed to die in Rome. At last he tore himself away, but 
returned to fall before the altar in prayer. Then, his face so 
ravaged with grief as to be unrecognisable, he fled.^ Accom- 
panied by his monks he started on his journey. The roads were 
bad, and Odilo, who was still weak, fell from his horse and was 
struck by its hoof. The monks carried him to St. Pancratius' 
and next day to St. Mary's, Aventine. Rome, the greatest city 
in the world, was moved by a wave of grief : no one without 
a breast of iron could have refrained from mourning. Many 
visitors came to that bedside : pope Clement, alone or with the 
chief men of the city, often with wonderful kindness and sweet 
words consoled the sufferer,* and archbishop Lawrence of 

1 Vita Jotmldo, i. 14. ~ Ibid. 

* Ne.ues Archiv, xv. p. 121. •• Ibid. cf. Vila Jotsahh), i. 14. 



Amalfij learned in Greek and Latin, the charm of whose eloquence 
and affability of whose great genius were as medicine to the 
sufferer. Odilo wrote to tell his monks of his accident and begged 
them to pray for him, ' guilty in that he had not been careful 
enough of their spiritual guidance '. Masses were said till 
March, when he began to recover, and meant to leave Rome. 
Pope Clement persuaded him to stay for Easter. On Palm 
Sunday he grew very ill again : ' the floors of the grief-stricken 
house were wet witli tears ', and his life despaired of. On 
Easter day, to the amazement of all, he went to St. Paul's, and 
afterwards had refection joyously with his monks. Five days 
later he returned to Cluny. 

He lived ten months longer, afflicting himself with fasts 
and vigils, praying with fervent prayers and exhorting his monks 
with great earnestness. Then, old as he was, he decided to visit 
all the houses he had reformed, and whc^e his health failed to 
await his call. He did not get farther than Souvigny. ' Lord 
Jesus, what sighs and groans the saint uttered, with what fervour 
he confessed his sins, glorified Thy majesty, invoked Thy name, 
dwelt on Thy passion and our redemption. With eyes raised 
and tears running down his cheeks he gazed on Thy image and 
sorrowed over Thy face as if he beheld Thee again crucified. 
With Mary Thy Mother he stood in anguish at the foot of the 
cross, the sword of sorrow piercing his heart. With his corporal 
or incorporal eyes he saw the evil one approach. His cry rang 
out, " By the virtue of Christ and the standard of the Holy Cross 
I withstand thee, thou enemy of the human race. Turn thy 
machinations from me and cease thy secret and hidden ambushes 
before the Cross of my Saviour whom I have always adored, 
always blessed, and into whose hands I commend my spirit." ' 

Christmas approached, the festival Odilo always loved the 
most. On Christmas Eve he went with the brothers to the 
chapter-house, heard the glad tidings, fell on his knees, adored 
and prayed, then gave an address, the best he had ever delivered ! 
He comforted the sorrowing brothers, and told them that he 


hoped to be [)resent at the festival after his death. Too weak to 
be present at the council, he was carried to the chapel of St. 
Mary, and left there with some of the monks. Then, a joyous 
precentor, he ordered psalms and antiphons to be sung, and 
forgetting his own suffering joyfully repeated all the Christmas 
offices. Joy w^as the keynote of his deatli. Daily he was carried 
to mass, and at last it was revealed to him that his call would 
come on the day after the Circumcision, at which he rejoiced 
the more, because that perfect man, William of St. Benigne's, 
had received his divine crown on the day of the Circumcision. 
Wrought up by this expectation, he lived for days almost without 
food or drink, and making little of the pain he suffered, put 
all his public and private affairs in order, and gave directions 
about his funeral. 

St. Sylvester's Day passed, the vigil of the Circumcision 
approached. More and more terribly did the pains of death 
assail him. In agony he asked for the sacred Body and Blood, 
which faithfully he recognised and devoutly received. Ever 
he adored his Christ, and ever he repulsed the prince of darkness. 
All day long the brothers read to him. Then, for the last time 
they gathered round him. They asked him whom he wished 
to be his successor. He replied : ' I leave that to the dis- 
pensation of God and the choice of the brothers '. 

Day drew on to vespers. He was carried to St. Mary's 
chapel, where he rallied again, chose the psalms, and, though 
dying, himself sang with the brothers. When they in their 
grief forgot a verse he corrected them. He then bade them 
leave him alone. When he was being carried back to the 
dormitory, he asked what had happened at the council, and 
suddenly in the bearers' hands he seemed as dead. In haste 
a cloth was spread on the ground, ashes sprinkled on it, and his 
holy body laid thereon. But his spirit returned, he asked where 
he was, and on learning that he lay on the cinder and ashes, 
gave thanks to God. He next inquired if the children and the 
convent us of the monks were present, and was tolA they were. 

. tvHCHAE.L'3 


Seeing thp Cross near him, he fixed his eyes on it. From the 
movement of his lips it could be seen that he was repeating 
the prayers for the dead. Then, without any twitching of the 
body, he closed his eyes and passed away in peace. The 
brothers whom he had chosen washed and anointed his body. 
His limbs were composed in their old familiar attitude, and his 
body laid before the holy altar, where as to a shrine for three 
days monks came hastening from far and near. His funeral 
was attended not only by the whole town, but also the whole 
province. All who came were weeping, some with joy that they 
had been given such a father, some with sorrow that he had been 
taken from them. He was eighty-six years old, and for fifty-six 
had been abbot of Cluny. 

Wonders marked his passing. On the night of his funeral 
he appeared to a certain Gregorius, a monk of simple nature 
and innocent life, who had come from afar to the funeral. Having 
kept vigil before the altar, he retired worn out to his cell. In 
his sleep he saw Odilo stand before him. To his question, 
' How is it with thee, oh master ? ' he received the answer, 
' Very well, oh brother, Christ Himself deigned to come and 
meet His servant. In the hour of my death He pointed out to 
me a fierce and terrible figure which, standing in a corner, would 
have terrified me by its huge monstrosity had not its malignancy 
been annulled by His presence.' The vision vanished, and the 
brother rose and told his companions. Forty days after, Odilo 
appeared again, this time to a clerk, of Teutonic race, of very 
good family, a relative of pope Leo and a beloved friend of 
Odilo's. The clerk was at Rome for the funeral of archbishop 
Lawrence, and after the ceremony fell asleep. Roused from his 
sleep by the appearance of Odilo, the trembling and fearful 
brother asked, ' Master, why art thou here ? ' Odilo answered,' 
' I come from the funeral of our brother Lawrence, and I did 
not wish to go away without seeing thee '. 

Odilo had not that beauty of person which marked Maiolus. 
He was of middle height, very thin and pale. From his dead- 


white face his eyes blazed with a splendour which was the terror 
and admiration of beholders. His voice was strong and beauti- 
fully modulated : his speech suave and always apt ; his expres- 
sion tranquil and cheerful ; his every gesture marked by authority 
and gravity. To the proud and offensive he could be so terrible 
that they shrank.^ 

In analysing Odilo's character Jotsaldus took as his standard 
the four cardinal virtues, prudence, justice, fortitude, and 
temperance. In prudence ^ — search for truth and desire for 
fuller knowledge — he excelled. Nothing gave him greater 
pleasure than reading. He was learned in the Scriptures, from 
which he could quote by heart. He always had a book of divine 
contemplation in his hands. His own eloquence was great, 
as was seen in his letters and sermons, ' sw^eet as richest honey, 
redolent of prudence, eloquence, suavity, and grace '. 

In justice ^ — rendering to each his due, not taking what 
belongs, to another, and neglecting his own interests for the 
common good — he also excelled. He gave due honour to men 
of every age and rank. According to the w^ord of the apostle, 
he resisted princes and Christian dignitaries in nothing. Four 
popes, Sylvester, Benedict, John, and Clement ' of pious 
memory ', regarded him as a brother. Robert, king of the 
Franks, the empress Adelheid, the emperors Henry and Conrad, 
loved and venerated him. Between him and the two latter it 
seemed as if there were but ' one heart and mind '. Stephen, 
king of the Hungarians, and Sanchius, king of Spain, though 
they never saw him, knew of his holiness and delighted in his 
letters and admonitions. Sanchius, bishop of Pamplona, came 
from the far west to be his monk. Italy rejoiced in his presence, 
more especially Pavia, which he twice saved from destruction by 
fire and sword; so too did Rome, mistress of the world. He was 
not proud, and was the friend of all, regarding old men as fathers, 
the young as brothers, old women as mothers, and virgins as 
sisters. To all, as was commonly said, he was dear as an angel. 

^ Vila Jotmldo, i. 5. ' Ibid. i. (i. ' Ibid. i. 7. 


Strangers coining to Cluny found him profusely generous, 
so sure was he that Christ would never let him lack. Anything 
offered to him he took, that he might have the more to give to 
the poor. He gave away so much that often he had nothing for 
the necessities of the brothers, but always, however unexpectedly, 
' sufficient blessings ' would arrive for their needs. In a time 
of famine he melted down many of the church vases and orna- 
ments for the poor — not grudging even the imperial crown.^ 
Gold, he would say, was less precious then Christ's blood so 
freely shed for them. During another famine he went round 
many vills and churches and by his sweet speech and promise 
of absolution persuaded princes, the rich, and the well-to-do 
(mediocres) to give alms, thereby saving many thousands of the 
poor from starvation. He was compassionate to all,^ so much 
so that sometimes the prudent chided him for lack of discrimina- 
tion, when he would jokingly say, ' I would rather be mercifully 
judged for having shown mercy, than be cruelly damned for 
having shown cruelty '.^ He even received the murderer of a 
bishop who fled to Cluny to take vows, and who, as he could 
read and sing like a skilled clerk, Odilo thought in time might 
be ordained. But the pope, whose consent he wrote and asked, 
replied that no such criminal could become a priest nor offer 
oblation at the altar lest through him the wrath of God descended 

^ Ibid. It was perhaps at this time that he wrote to make known to 
Garseas of Spain— though not without a blush {sine rubore) — the necessity 
and need which had af^icted Clunj' for two or three years past. And not Cluny 
only, for the general poverty of the kingdom was such that hunger and want 
oppressed all their neighbours. He begged for help. Epist. Odilonis, 3 
Migne, 142. 

^ Ibid. Once when going to St. Denis he saw the bodies of two boys lying 
on the road dead from starvation and cold. He dismounted from his horse, 
found gravediggers, wrapped the bodies in his own woollen coat, and said the 
funeral service over them. If St. Martin is celebrated throughout the world 
for giving half his cloak to a beggar, surely Odilo should be so also since he 
gave away his whole coat, and that not to a living man but to two dead boys. 
Many similar stories could have been told had not Jotsaldus' poor genius 

^ Ibid. i. 8, EUganter illudere solitus erat. Ego inquit magis volo de misericordia 
miserirorditer iudicari quam de crudelitate crudeliter damnari. Jotsaldus once 
saw him kiss a leper, nobis qui videbamus valde mirantibus. 


on others : he was not even to receive the sacraments. Yet 
when he died Odilo in his pitiful mercy did not refuse him the 
viaticum. His humility was great. It was nothing to him to 
be officially received with honour and ceremony. He only 
accepted the obsequium of his monks because he could not refuse 
it without causing scandal to many. When he visited Monte 
Cassino his humility and love of St. Benedict made him climb 
to the monastery on foot.^ In the chapter he asked as the 
greatest of favours that he might kiss the brothers' feet. Nor 
would he say mass nor carry the pastoral staff on St. Benedict's 
Day, considering it unfitting for any one to do so except the abbot 
of Monte Cassino, the father of all abbots. On leaving he 
promised to send the brothers a relic of St. Maur, and seven years 
later sent the whole bone of the arm, which, enclosed in a silver 
shrine and crowned by a tower, beautifully worked, was borne 
by six monks from Cluny. 

Fortitude 2 — a mind acting without fear, bearing adversity 
and prosperity with courage, and afraid of nothing except 
disgrace — was his. Even his holy soul endured attacks and vile 
reproaches from near and far, but he fearlessly withstood his 
enemies and patiently bore adversity. He was tireless in work- 
ing for the peace of churches and the welfare of his neighbours, 
preserving peace for others even at peril to himself. Since he 
had swum to felicity it may be told, what God alone knew, that 
he bound his limbs with chains and iron bands, causing himself 
agony almost too great for human endurance, and under his 
garments wore a rough hair shirt. 

Temperance — preserving the mean and order (modum. et 
ordinem) — was his in every word and deed. He moderated his 
fasts, as St. Jerome advised, according to his health. He ate 
and drank whatever was set before him, enough to avoid remark 
but not too much for temperance. His dress was neither too 

1 Bibl. Clun. p. 337. 

" Vita Jotsaldo, i. 12, O qunntas infestai lanes et quam gravissimas insecta- 
tiones a domesticis et extraneis ipsa sarictu aJiima sustiriuit. 


slovenly , nor too fashionable. His manner was grave, but 
tempered by cheerfulness. He was severe when necessary, 
but gracious in granting pardon, preferring rather to be loved 
than feared. An example of every virtue was found in him. 
Whoever heard anything displeasing about him ? Whoever 
if he heard believed, for was he not greater than malice and 
scandal ? 

Jotsaldus is careful to explain that he did not himself 
witness all the miracles of which he wrote. Many he heard 
when collecting material for his Vita. He had sifted his material 
most carefully, only retaining what was vouched for by true and 
faithful witnesses. His chief authorities were Robert prepositus 
and Sirius, abbot of St. Maiolus', Pavia, who quoted largely from 
notes made by Boso, a monk of wonderful simplicity and inno- 
cence. Robert and Sirius, trustworthy men, intimate friends 
and confidants of Odilo, for long had been companions of his work 
and troubles. Whatever they told about him was worthy of 
belief, since it was what they had heard with their ears, seen 
with their eyes, and remembered with prudent memory.^ The 
' miracles ' are far removed from the charming naivete of the 
stories about Odo. A point that is striking about them is their 
materialism : many being instances of the miraculous increase 
of food and wine. The simplicity of the earlier abbots had 
vanished. Odilo travelled with many attendants, his domestic 
belongings, bed, and books (p. 210). Adulation of the abbot 
has become fulsome : e.g. it might be said of Odilo that even 
God obeyed him : St. Peter's deed paled before his (p. 209). A 
sinister note is struck in the story of the madman who was not 
healed till his relatives laid a gift on the tomb and promised to 
renew it annually (p. 216). The ' miracles ' do, however, give 
some picture of the daily round of monastic life. 

Jotsaldus' style is involved at any time, and quite hopelessly 
so when he tries to rise to the occasion ; e.g. ' Odilo, when staying 

^ Ibid. ii. 1, Absit enim me nisi visa et experta, et a fidelibus personis sive 
idoneis testibus relata, de tanto viro aliquid mendaciter fingere vel narrare. 


at St. Denis, ministered the food of life and drink of salvation 
with eloquent mouth. Lent was almost over, the day of the 
mystic supper and the saving Passion of Christ approached, 
when the triumphant light of the joyful Resurrection would 
illuminate the world : and the sterility of the waters yielded no 
affluence of fish ! The divine providence was to ordain, how- 
ever, that at this new festival a new guest of the waters should 
be sent to the new man renewed in the spirit.' ^ The story con- 
tinues : At dawn on the great day the prepositus called the most 
skilled fishers, lamented the scarcity of fish, gave them many 
hints, and reminded them that the brothers would be worn out 
with the Easter celebrations. ' Go ', he said, ' throw your 
nets in the Seine, call on the merits of Odilo, invoke the name 
of Christ, and I believe your hope will not be in vain.' They 
went and caught an enormous fish (of a kind scarcely ever seen 
there before) which Christ had sent direct to His servant. Odilo 
was arnazed and called the boys of the school {infantes scholae) 
to come and see it. Laetantur heroes novitate rei peractae mentis 
tanti viri. 

Near St. Denis was the little monastery of St. Martin, 
where the monks of St. Denis went when ill or for rest. Once 
when Odilo stayed there the stewards of St. Denis sent supplies 
for him, but not much fish, which was very scarce. Odilo did not 
have much rest, for as usual many men came to see him, among 
others two abbots with several monks whom he invited to dinner 
to the dismay of the monks, who protested that there was very 
little food. But when the guests lay at table a wonderful thing 
happened. The fish, either in the hands of those serving, or 
the hands of those eating, began to increase. All partook 
abundantly, nay superabundantly, and much remained over for 
the servants ! ' Boys,' said Odilo, ' you promised little and^ 
have given much. See that you keep enough for yourselves.' 
To this they, joyful of heart, replied, ' Lord, enough remains 
even for others should they arrive. Henceforth, when your 

^ Ibid. ii. 8, Ut in nova festivitate^ novus hospes gurgitis, novo etiam homini. 


holiness asks us to do anything, we will know that it can be 
done.' ^ 

Odilo loved to stay at St. Mary's, Aventine, where cool 
breezes made the heat of summer tolerable.^ Once when he 
was ill he asked the abbot at refection for a certain wine. There 
was only enough for one left, but the abbot, who loved Odilo 
greatly, with cheerful face and placid mind ordered it to be 
served. Odilo, always generous, shared it with the abbot, who 
lay next him. The monks who were stronger in health drank 
another wine. Odilo, noticing that his little bottle was not 
empty, said blandly to the brothers, ' I have not yet shown all 
my love to you ', and poured the wine for each of them in turn — 
about twelve altogether. Then happened a marvellous thing 
(res stupenda) — ^tlie bottle remained partly full ! The monks 
marvelled and rejoiced, but Odilo said, ' Our host overflowing 
with love has caused the wine to abound even in this little 
bottle ', i.e. his humility attributing to the grace of another the 
deed divinely accomplished by himself. 

A similar miracle occurred at the ecclesia of Toulon.^ No 
one in future ages— for what is written endureth — can doubt its 
truth, for it was told by Abrald, one of Odilo's monks, a true 
and faithful witness. Odilo arrived unexpectedly, was wel- 
comed with joy, embraced and kissed but a little chided — 
though humbly and submissively — for not having given notice 
of his coming. Supplies were low and Alrald sent far and near 
to beg for necessaries. Odilo with his usual suavity said that 
he expected no sumptuous preparations. The vine season had 
been bad that year, so that only the rich could afford wine, and 
the considerate father, not wishing to burden the monk, offered 

to buy wine — ' which was not to be thought in what was his 


1 Ibid. ii. 8. 

^ Ibid. ii. 9, Qui prae ceteris illius vrhis montibus aedes decoras hahens, 
et suae positionis culmen in altum tollens, aestivos fervores aurarum, algore 
tolerabilis reddit. 

3 Ibid. ii. 23. Subject to Paray, cf. ibid. 3. Paray, a monastery famous 
for the bpliness o| j[t§ jnonks and belonging to Cluny. 


own house ' ! At dinner ' sufficiency and even abundance of 
food was served, though not beyond what their discreet order 
allowed '. The wine was brought in a small and almost empty 
bottle : the monks were to drink twice, the others once, but this 
measure was exceeded and all drank largely ! When Odilo left, 
the dispensator found the bottle still full. In amazement he 
looked again, but there was no mistake. He told Alrald, who 
thought him mad, till the testimony of his own eyes convinced 
him, and he could only exclaim, ' Mirabilis Deus in Sanctis suis.^ 

A miracle one Ash Wednesday ^ at Paray reminded Jotsaldus 
of the feast at Cana of Galilee. At nine, when the brothers left 
their reading to have a little food, Odilo secretly took a handful 
of ashes, which he ate, and signed for a drink of water. When 
he put the cup to his lips the odour of wine arose. He put it 
aside and signed for water again. The brother protested by 
signs that he had brought water, emptied the cup, and refilled 
it. Again, when Odilo raised it to his lips, the odour of wine 
arose. Recognising in this the grace of God, he took with 
humility what was sent. 

On yet another occasion Odilo was miraculously provided 
with wine. Descending the Juras he met a group of poor men 
who begged from him. He ordered the skins of wine to be 
emptied for them. Yet not long after, when he and his monks 
sat down to eat, the skins were found to be full of excellent 
wine. All were amazed and gave thanks. 2 

Twice by a miracle Odilo crossed a river on foot. Once 
when hastening to Pavia, he found no boat at the Ticino. He 
ordered one of his servants to walk across, and followed him- 
self. The others came after, and, without the help of rowers, 
arrived unhurt ! Nothing could be more worthy of praise : 
St. Peter once walked on the sea, but Odilo crossed the waves ! 
Some horsemen who had seen the miracle, rashly concluded that 
it was ebb tide, and spurred their horses into the water. They 

^ Ibid. ii. 3, In quo et cineris super capita inipositio suscipitur et arduae 
inceptio abstinentiae a fidelibiis inchoatur. - Ibid. ii. 11. 



were submerged.^ A man who had watched all with awe fell 
at Odilo's feet and begged him to visit his house. In the night 
a terrific wind blew out the lantern and awakened the chamber- 
lain. Terrified at the darkness he prayed, ' Oh, divine light 
that illumines the world, hear me unworthy as I am, and for 
the sake of Thy Odilo take from this house the horror of dark- 
ness.' Immediately a light appeared from the air, and filled 
him with joy and the house with brightness. 

On the second occasion Odilo was travelling from the ' de- 
lectable monastery', Peterlingen, by the mountains to Cluny. 
He stayed all night at Lions-le-Saunier,^ so as to start at dawn. 
' The sky was dark, the rain poured down, but could not turn 
the strong minds of the men of God from their journey.' After 
plodding on all day they came to a river so swollen with rain 
as to seem impassable. Odilo sent a servant to try. He crossed 
safely and came back for the others. As they passed through the 
vast flood, the water which came up to their thighs never rose 
beyond the holy man's shoes. Wet and miserable they reached 
St. Marcel's, Chalon, at midnight. Seated round a huge fire they 
warmed themselves and changed their garments while the gentle 
father, knowing what they had come through, soothed their 
afiiicted breasts with improvised verses.^ 

At another time when coming from a monastery at Mantua 
which he had been asked to reform, his luggage was saved by a 
miracle. When crossing a river, the mule that carried his bed 
and his books got out of its depth. It managed to reach the 
bank, but when one of the servants tried to catch its head it 
swerved and swam to the opposite bank. A magnanimous hero 

^ Ibid. ii. 6. Every gift cometh from God, as they learnt to their cost. If 
this story seems incredible, let faithful men and Christian brothers remember 
the marvellous power of the Creator who wished to glorify Odilo that the light 
of his merits should be diffused throughout the world. ^ Ibid. ii. 7. 

^ Ibid. quondam fortes per multa pericula fratres ! 

Ne vestra vestris frangatis pectora rebus ; 
Per varies casus per tot discritnina rerum 
Tendimus ad regnum coeli sedesque beatas ; 
Durate, et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. 


advancing over the plain watched what was happening, made no 
mortal sound, lifted the cap which covered his white hair, and 
was proceeding on his way, when Master Peter (the most agitated 
of all, for he was responsible for Odilo's luggage) shouted to him 
to catch the mule. He immediately dragged the animal from 
the water. Quickly unloaded, not a trace of damp on the bed, 
books, or luggage could be found. When Odilo was told, he was 
sceptical that anything immersed in water should not be wet ; 
yet at night he found it was so. ' Beloved,' he said, ' how 
wonderful is the goodness of God. He has kept untouched what 
we could not have restored (i.e. the luggage), while what could 
be touched without harm (i.e. the mule) He allowed to get wet.' 
Indifferent to the praise of men, he ascribed nothing to his own 
merits but all to God who worked in him.^ 

Another time, when travelling in the Juras, a heavily-laden pack 
horse fell from a height on to jagged rocks in the valley beneath. 
The servants descended and found most of theduggage, but not 
a book of the sacraments written in letters of gold nor some 
crystal vases of rare make. Odilo stayed the night at the cella 
St. Eugenius, and in the morning sent searchers to look for the 
book and vases. There had been a heavy fall of snow, so nothing 
was found. ' Then for two months snow covered the hills, and 
harsh winter denuded the face of the mountains.' The loss 
was almost forgotten, when one day a priest found the book 
untouched by the mist and the snow, and the vases unbroken. 2 

Thieves were powerless before the merits of Odilo, as two 
stories show. When Henry II. went to Rome for his coronation, 
Odilo accompanied him and spent Christmas with him at Pavia. 
The table where he had his meals was covered by a beautifully 
embroidered cloth, which one day was stolen. When the theft 
was discovered the servants murmured, but the generous father 
merely told them to bring another cloth, ' and silence covered 
the deed '. After the royal party left, the thief three times took 
the cloth to market, and vainly tried to sell it. The third time 

1 Ibid. ii. 16. - Ibid. ii. 18. 



a flush of shame covered his brow. Nor was the divine justice 
slow to avenge him. Suddenly his hands and feet dried up ! 
He was carried to the church of St. Maiolus, laid on the floor, 
and covered with the cloth. Crowds filled the church, marvelling 
at the merits of Maiolus and Odilo.^ At last the sinner re- 
covered, and glorifying God returned home. Another time in 
Pavia Odilo's horse was stolen. Knowing it would be suspect 
in Pavia, the thief took it to Lodi, but no one would buy it, 
'God having turned the hearts of all against 'the purchase'. 
Struck with contrition, the sinner returned the horse. Wishing 
to return good for evil, Odilo would not let him be punished.^ 

The ' miracle ' of the broken vase, told at great length, 
evidently impressed Jotsaldus very much — why, it would be 
difficult to say. He reaches the story in a more roundabout 
way even than usual. To make sure of the details he had 
questioned bishop R-ichard,^ who asked him if he remembered 
the quarrel between the bishop of Comensis and Odilo's nephew 
over the monastery of Bremen. Meeting the bishop at the time, 
Richard asked how he could have acted so unjustly, knowing as 
he did that the emperor Conrad had put Bremen under Odilo, 
whose merits had so often shone forth, as for example in the 
case of the broken vase. The bishop of Comensis not only knew 
of the incident of which he had been a witness, but many fresh 
details, to which Richard eagerly listened and diligently stored 
up in his mind. This was the story. Once at court the emperor 
Henry ordered two young clerks (one of whom was the bishop, 
and the other Landulf, afterwards bishop of Tours) to place on 
Odilo's table a very precious vase of Alexandrine work. They 
obeyed the Caesar's command, humbly inclining themselves before 
the abbot. The monks — human nature being always curious 
over anything new and rare — wishing to inspect it more closely 
passed it from hand to hand, when it fell to the ground and was 

1 Ibid. ii. 4. •' Ibid. ii. 5. 

^ Ibid. ii. 12. Formerly a Cluniac monk and one of Odilo's greatest 
friends. Patris Odilonis nutrito et monacho . . . sibi valde familiarissimus suorum 
secretorum conscius itinerisque vel lahoris socius. 


broken. ' Brothers,' said Odilo in great distress, ' you have 
not done well, for by your carelessness those young clerks to 
whom the vase was entrusted may lose the imperial favour. 
Let us hasten to church and pray that the loss be not visited on 
the guiltless.' When they returned, not a crack nor a mark 
could be seen on the vase, and Odilo indignantly said : ' What 
was the matter with you, oh brothers ? Surely a mist obscured 
your sight.' 

They dared not tell him it was a miracle, but the emperor 
was told sub silentio. The latter, who loved Odilo beyond 
measure and humbly adhered to his counsels, was filled with 
wonder and great jubilation, and held him more and more worthy 
of veneration.^ Not only bishop Richard but many others 
assured Jotsaldus of the truth of this story. 

Other miracles tell of deeds of healing. At Besorniacum he 
noticed the son of one of his serfs, a child beautiful ^ but blind. 
He prayed silently, signed the boy's eyes with^ the sign of the 
cross, and sent him home healed. Nor was this incredible : did 
not Christ say, ' He who believeth in Me, shall do My works ' ? 
At Peterlingen he healed a little boy-monk (puerulus monachus) 
who had a disease of the throat, very common in those parts. 
A tumour began to grow, and the child could scarcely speak. 
Odilo touched the sore, signed it with the sign of the cross, and 
from that moment the tumour began to decrease, just as before 
it had increased. It finally disappeared, and the boy was well 
when Jotsaldus wrote.^ 

At the monastery at Nantua he noticed a little boy-monk 
who suffered from a horrible disease, had lost the use of his 
limbs, his voice, his memory, and was almost dead. Odilo 
prayed, and gave him holy water from the chalice of St. Maiolus. 
Immediately he recovered.* 

The senior of the Albigensians was lying under a tree when a 

^ Ibid. ii. 12, Supra modum eum diligebat, illiusque consiliis humiliter 

- Ibid. ii. 2, Puerum cuius faciei effiyiem pulchra manus superni opificL'i 
decoram effecerat. ' Ibid. ii. 15. * Ibid. ii. 17. 


particle 'of bark fell into his eye. He could not get the bark 
out, use his eye, eat nor sleep. He came to Odilo, who was travel- 
ling through that district. The abbot signed the eye with the 
sign of the cross and said mass. He fell asleep, and on waking 
the bark had gone, and he could enjoy his food ! Ever after he 
held Odilo in great veneration.^ Another time when returning 
from Rome he met at Lucques a canon of St. Martin's, Tours, 
who suffered from a growth in his arm, which seemed likely to 
prove fatal. Odilo cured him, but would not let him tell any 
one. For he feared publicity as deadly poison, and praise as a 
pestilential evil.^ Jotsaldus himself witnessed the healing of a 
madman at Nantua, who when he escaped his keepers wandered 
naked and miserable, emitting strange sounds, and living without 
food, as his kind do. Odilo and his monks prostrated them- 
selves before St. Peter's altar, then he sprinkled the madman 
with holy water and made him drink. When he left for Cluny, 
the young man followed him, ' not mad but sane, not bound 
but free, not compelled by others but of his own free will '. At 
Cluny he made an offering of fish, a gift of love, and returned 
home. Next year he revisited Cluny, and not finding Odilo 
there, went on to Souvigny, arriving the day of his death. The 
thanks he was unable to give to the living he gave to the dead.^ 
The nephew of the abbot of Ebreuil, a strenuous miles, for long 
deaf and dumb, learnt in a vision that if he drank water in 
which Odilo had washed his hands he would be healed. He 
came to Souvigny, received the water, mixed it with water from 
the chalice of St. Maiolus, changed his garments, entered the 
church, fell in prayer, drank the water^ and was healed."* 

Odilo worked many other miracles, but in secret, so that 
the people never knew of them. In fever cases he always used 
St. Maiolus' chalice, and then attributed the merit to that saint. 
Yet there was no doubt that he, the disciple, co-operated in his 
master's work.^ 

1 Ibid. ii. 19. ^ ibid. ii. 20. ^ jbid. ii. 21. 

* Ibid. ii. 22. ' Ibid. ii. 23. 


In the third book of the Vita, Jotsaldus tells a few out of 
the many miracles worked after Odilo's death. All of them he 
had learnt on excellent authority. 

The first is quaintly told. Four miles from Souvigny a poor 
woman lived with a daughter, insane, deaf and dumb. Three 
times when she was asleep, a beautiful and pleasant person told her 
to take her daughter to Odilo's tomb, and see what would happen. 
She did so. Passing through a wood near Souvigny the daughter 
suddenly spoke : ' Mother, mother, I hear a great sound of bells ', 
i.e. the bells of the monastery. Next she cried, ' I hear the 
lowing of oxen, and the bells round their necks '. At the 
tomb the mother gave what thank-offering she could, and re- 
turned with her daughter healed.^ From the vast Alps in the 
interior of Aquitaine two young men came to the tomb, one 
deaf and dumb, the other leading him. At the tomb the latter 
took some of the water in which Odilo's corpse had been 
washed, poured it in the deaf man's ears, and some in his 
mouth. Next day the afflicted man laid a gift on the tomb, for 
he could speak and hear. 2 Another man, dumb for seven years, 
regained the power of speech at the tomb, and joyfully told all 
and sundry. Several persons, out of curiosity, sent to make 
inquiries. Jotsaldus heard the story from the latter.^ 

A priest who was dumb went to Odilo's tomb and humbly 
prostrated himself, praying to regain his speech. When no 
answer came he sadly returned home, whereupon he spoke. 
Solomon, a rich merchant, and several others witnessed to the 
truth of this."* A blind old man was led to the tomb by a boy, 
and before reaching the crypt saw. Swiftly preceding his leader 
he ran to give thanks.^ A blind woman w^as also led there. 
For long she remained in prayer, but as no sign was vouchsafed 
her, asked the saint's permission to depart. ' As she spoke, 
sighing profoundly from the depths of her sad heart, her eyes 
long evilly closed were opened, the hoped-for light returned, 
and she went home guided by the light of her own, not others', 
1 Ibid. iii. 1. - Ibid. iii. 2. =^ Ibid. ill. 3. « Ibid. iii. 5. ^ Ibid. iii. G. 


eyes ' ! ^ * A blind old man from Tours was led by his daughter to 
the tomb, and given water with which the corpse had been washed. 
He arrived at night, and being poor could find no inn nor food. 
He therefore spent the night hungry and without shelter. In the 
morning he returned to the tomb, when he received his sight. 
Hastening into the church, which was crowded with men, clerks, 
and priests celebrating mass, with loud voice he gave thanks to 
God. Hearing him, all flocked round him and glorified God.^ 

A merchant of Souvigny who had long been ill, lost his memory 
and his reason. His brothers and relatives brought him to 
Odilo's tomb and tried in vain to make him sign himself with 
the sign of the cross. They then laid a gift on the tomb and 
promised to pay a certain sum annually if the sufferer was 
healed. Immediately he regained health and sanity.^ A peasant 
(ruricola) belonging to the monastery of St. Maiolus went mad. 
Fighting with all his strength he was dragged by his son and 
relatives to Odilo's tomb where they offered a gift. He re- 
covered. A peasant of Autun who was paralysed, heard of the 
virtue of the saint. Seated in a cart, he was drawn to Souvigny 
by his wife and brothers, and bathed his limbs with the water 
of which he had heard so much. Gradually the pain left, and in 
a few days, not seated in the cart, but firm on his own feet, he 
went to the tomb to give thanks, and having given to all proof of 
his cure, returned home.^ A young clerk of Flanders who suffered 
from dropsy, could eat and drink only with great pain : ' His 
stomach swelled so much that his skin was extended beyond 
measure, and seemed likely to burst.' He could scarcely walk, 
and yet to stand or sit was dangerous. He longed for death, 
as preferable to so wretched a life. At last he dragged himself 
to Odilo's tomb, with feeble voice told how far he had come, and 
with tears begged his help. There was no delay. ' A stream of 
clotted blood burst from his mouth ', and rising from his knees he 

1 Ibid. iii. 7. - Ibid. iii. 8. 

' Ibid. iii. 9, Hoc itaque pacto quern adduxerant amentem et insanum . . . 
ex integro sanum ad domum reducunt. ^ Ibid. iii. 10. 


declared himself healed. Gathering up his voluminous garment, 
which (as his unnatural size was reduced) hung limp around him, 
he showed the onlookers how far his skin had extended.^ An old 
man of the people was likewise healed of the same disease. ^ 

A captive though bound and imprisoned in a cave which 
was barred and closed by a heap of stones, yet never lost faith, 
and in the dark depth begged Odilo to intercede for him. One 
day he heard some one approach and bid him come forth. His 
chains fell off, the bars burst asunder, the stones flew hither 
and thither, and he emerged from darkness to light. Rejoicing 
he gave thanks at Odilo's tomb.^ 

A girl paralysed for many years was told in sleep to go to 
Souvigny. Carried to the tomb, she there found she could walk. 
She started home, but on reaching the outskirts of the vill could 
go no farther. Carried back to the tomb, her strength returned, 
and never again did she go beyond the vill.* A merchant's 
daughter in Souvigny suffered from the same weakness. Carried 
to the tomb, first she stood, then gradually she walked, and as 
long as she remained there could stand and walk quite well.^ 
Another girl was healed in the same way. These three miracles 
took place on Sts. Peter and Paul's day, when the church was 
crowded. Great was the amazement. Monks and clerks sang 
psalms in jubilation. Men and women raised their voices in 
thanksgiving at miracles of ' such stupendous novelty '. All 
told how wonderful Christ was in His saints, and what grace, 
thus verified by signs and wonders, must abound in his most 
faithful servant ^ Odilo. 

With the death of Odilo the first phase of Cluniac activity came 
to an end. The work of reform had been carried through, and 
Cluny stood pre-eminent as the first reforming house of the age. 

In those early years the essential sanity of the Cluniac move- 
ment is very attractive. For that sanity much must be attri- 
buted to the character of her first abbots. The note is struck 

1 Ibid. iii. 11. - Ibid. iii. 12. ' Ibid. iii. 17. 

^ Ibid. iii. 13. * Ibid. iii. 14. « Ibid. iii. 15. 


when OdOj ' a learned man with his hundred books ', stood at 
the gate of Baume, so repelled by the tale of Berno's harshness 
that he was ready to flee. For it was no intolerant fanatical 
life that he sought, but a community where, with men like-minded 
to himself, he might develop his love of religion, holiness, peace, 
learning, literature, architecture, and art. There is a human 
touch in his distress at the thought of his father and mother, 
enmeshed in the snares of the world. There is charm in the 
humane nature that could advise the unbalanced young zealot, 
worn out with self-inflicted penances, either to learn or teach ; 
in the mystic temperament of Maiolus to whom nevertheless 
the mean in all things was praiseworthy ; in the characteristic 
readiness of Odilo to risk censure for judging others mercifully. 
Cluny, essentially Western, stood for moderation. 

In an age of coarse materialism Cluny sought to recall to 
men that interest in spiritual and mental things that seemed to 
have been lost. To attain her end, she took every means that 
lay to her hand. In her reform she accepted help from whatever 
source it came. Founded by a secular prince, and in her develop- 
ment owing much to emperors, kings, and nobles, from her 
foundation she was in close relation to the temporal power. 
Autonomous, from her origin she looked beyond the bishop to 
Rome, and by so doing, as her influence grew, enormously 
strengthened the power and prestige of the papacy. 

In that she acted unconsciously, for so intensely self-engrossed 
was the life of the Cluniac community that her sons seldom 
looked beyond their monastic walls. Very rarely do the bio- 
graphers of the early abbots spare a thought for the outside 
world. If they mention their abbots' participation in an his- 
torical event, it is not because the outside connection interests 
them, but that the outside world's connection with them serves 
to glorify their monastery. 

True to monastic tradition, they looked on monasticism as a 
higher calling than that of the secular church, the monk as alone 
fulfilling literally the words of the Gospel. They reaped their 


reward, in that Cluny was regarded as the great intercessory 
house far excellence, by the prayers of whose sons the souls 
of the damned went free, to the intercessory merits of whose 
abbot even a pope owed his escape from purgatory. 

But for the larger issues of Cluniac history one has to look 
beyond the Cluniac chroniclers. It is from other sources that 
one learns what enormous power lay in the hands of the abbots. 
Under Odilo's successor Hugh that power reached its culmination. 
In Hugh's sixty years of office the Cluniac congregation was 
built up, the Cluniac power consolidated. Cluniac houses were 
to be found in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, even 
in Jerusalem. In those subject houses the will of Hugh was 
supreme : to him alone Cluniac abbots and priors were subject : 
from those houses revenue flowed to Cluny, and from Cluny 
emanated the policy that directed them. Hugh was head of 
a vast institution, of an international system. He lived through 
the stormiest period of the struggle between empire and papacy. 
In those years of stress, true to Cluniac tradition, his influence 
seems to have made for moderation. He never wholly broke 
off relations with Henry IV., who clung to him ' as his only 
refuge, his one consolation in his misery '.^ At Canossa, Hugh 
may have acted as intermediary between pope and emperor. 

Under Urban II., former monk and prior of Cluny, Hugh's 
influence and that of his monastery reached its highest point. 
Further privileges were showered on the abbey, honours heaped 
on the abbot. To Cluny again and again Urban's longing for 
his former master's presence went forth. To Hugh, ' as Christ 
on the Cross committed his mother to the beloved John, so 
Urban committed the church '.^ And at the apogee of Cluny 's 
splendour, when the altars of her great church — one of the glories 
of Europe— were consecrated by the pope himself. Urban called 
to his former brothers and comrades, ' Vos estis lux mundi '. 

1 Migne. 159, p. 937. - Seues Archir, vii. p. 164. 


Aachen, 4, 6, 7, 116 
Abbo, father of Odo, 17-19 
Abbo of Fleury, 45, 166, 187 
Abbot, election, 2, 4, 7, 8, 11, 42, 

48, 52, 59, 92, 109, 162, 163, 201 ; 

power, 2, 28 
Abstinence from meat, 3, 30, 31,41,63 
Acfredus, 91 
Adacius, 58, 60 
Adalbero, archbishop of Rheims, 110, 

Adalbero, bishop of Metz, 65, 66 
Adalbero's satire, 165-169 
Adelheid of Burgundy, 57, 105-108, 

115, 116, 151, 185, 203 
Ademar, 95 
Adhegrinus, 25-27 
Aethicens, 14 
Agapitus, 92 
Agde, council, 48 
Agildrude, 185 
Aimo, 58, 75 

.Aimo, bishop of Bourges, 178 
Alberic, count, 126, 128 
Alberic of Rome, 61-64, 68, 69 
Alcuin, 5 
Alda, 69 
Alduin, 172 
Alfracta, 15, 16, 37 
All Souls' Day, 182-184 
Amadeus I. of Savoy, 189 
Amberieu, 52, 54, 69 
Amiens, 173, 175 
Ammonius, 22 
Angelus, 78 
Aniane. See Benedict 
Ansa, synod, 146, 158, 162, 165 
Antony, rule, 3 
Antony of Lyons, 101 
Archiuibald, abbot, 44, 45, 58 
Archimbald of Macon, 196, 197 
Arenberga, 18 

Aribert, 66 

Arnulf, abbot of Aurillac, 58-60 

Arnulf, bishop of Ai)t, 123 

Augustine of Canterbury, 4 

Augustine of Hippo, 33 

Aurelian, rule, 3 

Aurillac, 38, 58-60, 71, 75, 109 

Autonomy, monastic, 14, 37, 58, 93, 

Autun, bishop, 122, 146, 154, 157, 

162, 181, 189, 193; monasteries: 

St. John's, 143; St. Martin's, 9-11. 

See also Hugh, Walter 
Ava of Aquitaine, 12, 95 
Avignon, 100, 114, 157 
Aymar of Valence, 191 
Aymardus, 54, 88-105, 115, 140 

Badillo, 9 

Baldwin, 61, 62, 76, 78 

Basil, rule, 3 

Baume, 8-14, 26-31, 33-36, 68, 71 

Beaune, 175 

Belmont, 153 

Benedict of Aniane (saint), 5-8, 27- 
29, 56 

Benedict of Nursia (saint), 2-7, 9, 21, 
24, 28, 31, 35, 39-44, 57, 71, 75, 
79, 81, 102, 104, 145, 155, 164, 205 

Benedict VI., 183, 184 

Benedict VIII., 150, 151, 157, 158, 
174, 203 

Benedict, bishop of Avignon, 180 

Benedictine rule, 4, 6, 7, 13, 42, 44, 
191. See also Abbot, Abstinence 
from meat. Clothing, Manual labour. 
Obedience, Opus Dei, Private pro- 
pert}'. Silence, Sleep, Stability 

Benevento, 63 

Berald, 143, 145 

Bernard, 194 

Bernard, brother of Odo, 32 




Bernard of Cahors, 190 

Bernard of Perigueux, 60 

Berno, abbot of Baume, 10-17, 26- 

34, 37, 38, 71-74, 127 
Berno, bishop of Macon, 48, 50-53, 92 
Bertha of Burgundy, 115 
Besan9on, 33, 102, 114, 157, 189, 190, 

Bevais, 186 
Blanuscus, 50 
Blismodis, 143 
Bobbio, 109 
Boethius, 73 
Boniface, 4 
Boso, 206 

Boso of Provence, 91 
Bourges, 42, 176, 178 
Bouxieres, 44 
Bremen, 152, 212 
Brioude, St. JuHan's, 144, 145 
Bruno, bishop of Langres, 118, 119 
Bulon, 51 
Burchard, archbishop of Lyons, 97, 

122, 157, 159, 160, 163, 185 
Burchard, archbishop of Vienne, 158- 

Burchard, count, 119, 120, 141 

Caesafius of Aries, 3, 4 

Cahors, 190 

Capua, 62 

Carennac, church, St. Sermin's, 190 

Carus Locus, 49, 93, 94, 115, 147 

Cassian, rule, 3 

Chalcedon, council, 159 

Chalon, 114, 122, 161, 187, 196; 
bishop, 122, 147, 157, 193 ; monas- 
teries : St. Cosmo and Damiani's, 
153 ; St. Marcel's, 210 

Chanteuge, 59 

Charlemagne, 4, 5 

Charles of Vienne, 94 

Charroux, council, 170, 175 

Chrodegang, 65 

Clement XL, 150, 152, 199, 200, 203 

Clermont, bishop, 91, 114, 115, 150, 
157-159, 189 ; monastery, St. 
Allyre's, 60 

Clothing, 3, 7, 119 

Codex Regularum, 7 

Colmar, 116, 150 

Columbanus of Luxeuil, 3, 4, 10 

Concordia regularum, 7 

Conrad XL, emperor, 150-152, 203, 212 

Conrad of Upper Burgundy, 58, 91, 
94, 108, 115. 

Corbel, 173, 175 
Crottas, 115 
Cynricus, 100 

Deols, 12, 14 

Dijon, 175 ; monasteries : St. Be- 
nigne's, 112, 119; St. Sequanus', 5 
Donatus, rule, 3 

Edward of Tours, 109-111 

Elisardus, 39 

Ehzabeth of Balma, 194, 195 

Elne, council, 179 

Erluin, 67, 194 

Ermengard, 120 

Eva, 55 

Farfa, 63 

Feraldus, 78 

Fleury, 38-47, 59, 109-111, 165 

Frederick of Lorraine, 66 

Fulbert, bishop of Chartres, 148, 173 

Fulc of Anjou, 20, 25 

Fulcher, 100 

Fulda, 4 

Callus, 76 

Garseas of Spain, 204 

Gauzlin, bishop of Macon, 158-160, 

Gauzlin, bishop of Toul, 44, 66 
Gembloux, 67 
Geneva, bishop, 114; monastery, St. 

Victor's, 185 
Genouillac, monastery, St. Sorus', 

Geoffrey, bishop of Chalon, 193 
Geoffrey, count, 50 
Geoffrey, prior, 154 
Gerald, archbishop, 93, 96, 97 
Gerald of Aurillac, 71, 75 
Gerald, bishop of Cambrai, 174 
Gerberga, 45 

Gerbert, 109-111 ; (Sylvester XX.), 203 
Gerhard of Brogne, 45 
Gersindis, 60 
Gifts to Cluny, 50-54, 93-99, 122-129, 

153-154, 185-198 
Gigny, 10, 11, 14-16, 36 
Glanfeuil, 9, 10, 120 
Gorgonius, 65 
Gorze, 65-67 
Gregory I. the Great, 4, 22, 25, 71, 

74, 118, 147 
Gregory V., 149 
Gregory VI., 150, 164 



Grenoble, bishop, 97, 147, 193 
Guy II. of Thiers, 188 

Halinard, 154, 164 

Hector, 123, 153 

Heluin, 195 

Henry I., king of France, 164 

IJenry II., emperor, 151, 152, 173, 

174, 203, 211-213 
Henry III., emperor, 152 
Henry IV., emperor, 219 
Hersfeld, 4 

Hildebrand (Gregory VII.), 62, 219 
Hildebrand, prior, 88, 95, 96, 126 
Honoratus, 118 

Hugh, abbot of Cluny, 196, 219 
Hugh, archbishop of Rheims, 45 
Hugh, bishop of Auxerre, 174, 185- 

Hugh, bishop of Nevers, 191 
Hugh the Black, 51, 58, 93, 94 
Hugh Capet, 120, 141, 165 
Hugh, duke of the Franks, 41, 42, 59, 

93, 146, 154 
Hugh, king of the Lombards, 49, 52, 

64, 68, 69 
Huttenheim, 116, 150 

Isembertus, bishop of Poitiers, 178, 

Jerusalem, 32, 63, 181, 182, 219 

John X., 16 

John XL, 47-49, 54, 58, 94 

John XIIL,45, 114, 116 

John XV., 112 

John XIX., 150, 159-164, 176 

John, bishop of Macon, 122 

John, bishop of Porto, 183 

Jordan, bishop of Limoges, 177 

Juilly, 97, 193 

Jumieges, 59 

Justinian, 17 

Kadolein, 189 

Knut of Denmark, 152 

Lambert, Count, 118, 126 

La Reole, 45 

Laufinus, 10 

Lausanne, bishop of, 114, 187 

La Volta, 188 

Lawrence, bishop of Amalfi, 199-202 

Le Moutier de Thiers, 188 

Leo VIL, 41, 49, 52, 62 

Leotbald, count, 95, 96 

Le Puy, 131; bishop, 116, 157; council, 
171 ; church, St. Mary's, 128 

Lerins, 116, 118 

Lezat, 60 

Liebald, bishop of Macon, 193 

Liege, monastery, St. Peter's, 67 

Liens, monastery, St. Blaise, 153 

Limoges, 33, 34, 72, 172; council, 
177 ; monasteries : St. Augustine s, 
58 ; St. Martial's, 58 

Lobbes, 67 

Locedia, monastery, St. Michael's, 
111, 112 

Lorsch, 4 

Lothair, king of the Franks, 45, 92-94, 
109, 115 

Lothair, son of Hugh, king of the 
Lombards, 49, 52 

Louis the Pious, 6, 8 

Louis IV., 51, 58, 91, 93, 96 

Lyons, 32, 49, 101, 175, 178; arch- 
bishop, 42, 97, 114, 118, 122, 146., 
153, 157, 159, 163-165; monastery, 
St. Benigne's, 154, 164, 194. See 
also Burchard, William 

Macarius, rule, 3 

Macon, 49, 54, 88, 95, 99, 101, 115, 
126, 134, 161, 162, 195; bishop, 
12, 36, 53, 96, 101, 114, 115, 122, 
147, 157, 158, 193, 196; monas- 
teries : St. John's, 93; St. Martin's, 
93. See also Berno, Gauzlin, John, 
Liebald, Maimbod, Milo, Odo, Walter 

Magabrense, 162, 186 

Maimbod, bishop of Macon. 53, 95, 
96, 105 

Mainz, 152 

Maiolus, 89-90, 96, 100-142, 186, 187, 
191, 202, 212, 214 

Maior Monasterium, 120-121 

Malaucene, monastery, St. Maurice's, 

Manasses, bishop of Aries, 97, 153 

Mantes, 189, 190 

Manual labour, 7 

Marmoutiers, 21 

Marozia, 68 

Martial (saint), 172 

Martin, abbot of St. Cyprian's, 58, 59 

Martin of Tours (saint), 17-19. 36, 70, 
71, 76, 77, 121, 142, 204 

Massay, 12, 14 

Massiacus, monastery, St. Peter's, 51 

Maurmiinster, 6 

Maurus, 3, 9 



Metz, monastery, St. Amu If s, 66 
Milo, bishop of Macon, 122 
Miracles, 134, 137-142, 144, 202, 206- 

Molgon, 190 
Mons Rompons, 118 
Monte Cassino, 4, 7, 9, 39, 62, 205 
Monte Gargano, 78 
Montierender, 45 
Moyenmoutier, 66 . 

Nalgoldus, 90 
Naples, 63, 86 
Narbonne, council, 171 ; monastery, 

St. Pontus's, 69 
Nepi, St. Ellas', 63 
Neuberg, 151 
Nevers, count, 162, 163 ; monastery, 

St. Saviour's, 191 
Nicholas VI., 155 
Nithard, bishop of Nice, 180 
Northmen, 1, 6, 9, 23, 32, 35, 39, 59, 


Obedience and humility, 3, 6, 28, 29, 

Odilo, 107, 113, 115, 130, 143-170, 

179-201 ; death, 202, 203-217 
Odo, 4, 15-51, 56-64, 68-87, 94, 109, 

115, 117, 130, 131, 156 ; death, 71 
Odo, bishop of Macon, 122, 146 
Odo, bishop of Champagne, 120, 121 
Odolricus Maior, 142 

Odulrich, bishop of Langres, 164 

Oilbold, 109-111 

Ona, 192 

Opus Dei, 27, 66 

Otto I., 105, 106, 115, 116 

Otto XL, 106-108, 115, 116 

Otto III., 149, 150-151 

Otto William, 154, 187, 189, 197 

Pachomius, 3, 30, 73 

Paray, 118, 153, 187, 208, 209 

Paris, 1, 2, 25, 71 ; St. Denis's, 112, 

Paternus, abbot of Pena, 148, 192 
Pavia, 23, .105, 108, 112, 116, 117, 
134, 138, 140, 152, 173, 203, 209, 
211-212; monasteries: Ciel d' Oro, 
64, 112, 150, 151 ; St. Maiolus, 151, 
183, 206, 212; St. Saviour's, 105, 

116, 151 

Pax Dei, 170, 171, 179, 180 

Pax Romana, 171, 180 

Pena, monastery, St. John's, 192 

Peter Damianus, 89, 117, 133 
Peterlingen, 108, 115, 116, 150-153, 

187, 210, 213 
Peter the Venerable, 43, 141 
Pippin, 4 
Poitiers, abbots, 190 ; bishop, 189 ; 

council, 172, 175, 178; monasteries: 

St. Cyprian's, 58, 187 ; St. Savin's, 

9, 10, 58 
Poppo of Stablo, 165 
Porto, 86, 183 ; St. Stephen's, 193 
Pressy, 45 
Private property not permissible, 15, 

30, 41, 73, 74 

Raimodis, 100 

Rainald, bishop of Paris, 118, 141 

Rainald, prior, 186, 195 

Ravenna, 105, 150, 151 

Raymond Pontius, 59, 60 

Reginald, bishop of Aries, 180 

Regniacus, 93 

Remigius, 25, 71 

Rheims, 42, 45, 110 

Richard of St. Vannes, 165 

Richer, bishop of Liege, 66 

Riez, 100, 127, 157, 186 

Robert, bishop of Valence, 94 

Robert II., king of France, 153, 154, 
157, 159, 161, 165, 166, 173-176, 203 

Rocca, monastery, St. Julian's, 51 

Rodez, 182 

Romainmoutier, 38, 48, 57, 115, 150, 

Romanus (saint), 33 

Rome, 11, 13, 23, 26, 37, 49, 58, 68- 
70, 80, 84, 86, 93, 103, 108, 111, 
112, 117, 121, 130, 151-152, 155- 
160, 162, 164, 187, 189, 192, 199- 
203, 211, 214, 218; monasteries: 
St Agnes's, 62 ; St. Andrew's, 62 ; 
St. Lawrence's, 62; St. Mary's 
Aventine, 62, 87; St. Paul's, 61, 
83, 117, 132, 137; St. Peter's, 150; 
St. Sylvester's, 62; St. Stephen's, 

Rosans, monastery, St. Andrew's, 117 

Rudolf of Burgundv, king of the 
Franks, 16, 37, 39,^48-50, 58 

Rudolf IIL, 146, 153, 185, 187, 189 

Sacerge, 45 
Saint-Die, 66 
Sainte Enimie, 60 
Salerno, 32, 63 
Salustriacus, 51, 53 



Sanchius, king of Spain, 191, 203 
Sanchius, bishop of Pamplona, 148, 

Saracens, 35, 60, 02-63, 134-136, 168, 

171, 173, 191 
Sarlat, 60 
Sarrians, 191 

Sauxillanges, 91, 93, 115, 188 
Sauzel, monastery, St. Marcel's, 191 
Savigneux, 52, 69 
Senones, 66 
Sens, 42, 59 

Silence, 6, 15, 28, 168, 183 
Sleep, 3 
Soigniers, monastery, St. Vincent's. 

Souvigny, 112, 113, 135, 141, 142, 

188, 200-202, 214-217 
Speyer, 164 

St. Apollinare in Classe, 105, 118, 151 
St. Chaffre du Monastier, 59 
St. Cornelius, 6, 8 
St. Jean-d'Angely, 59, 187 
St. Lautenus, 14 
St. Mansuy's, 44, 45 
St. Maur des Fosses, 119, 120 
St. Paul-Trois-Chateaux, St. Amand's, 

91, 92, 115 
Stability, Benedictine, 2 
Stablo Malmedy, 67 
Stephen, bishop of Auvergne, 150 
Stephen, bishop of Clermont, 91 
Stephen, king of the Hungarians, 203 
Subiaco, 62 
Sylvester II., 109, 203 

Theodorardus, 63 

Toul, 66 ; monastery, St. Evre's, 44, 

45, 194 
Toulouse, 59, 60 
Tours, 17, 25, 32, 35, 59, 70, 71, 74, 

76, 109, 212, 216; monasteries: 

St. Julian's, 59, 109 ; St. Martin's, 

20, 25, 76, 214 
Treuga Dei, 170, 171, 179-181 
Tulle, 38, 58-60, 75 
Turpio, bishop of Limoges, 33, 34, 

58, 71, 72 

Urban II., 219 

Valensolle, 127, 186 

Vaux, 189, 190 

Verona, 108, 116, 151 

Vezelay, 162, 163 

Vienne, 94, 114, 124, 146, 157-159 

Virgil, 21, 103 

Vivian, prior of Cluny, 126-128, 146 

Walter, bishop of Autun, 122, 123, 

Walter, bishop of Besan9on, 193 
Walter, bishop of Macon, 193, 197 
Wido, 15, 16, 31, 188 
William of Aquitaine, 1, 10-16, 18, 19, 

37, 38, 49, 51, 95, 172, 175 
William of Aries, 136 
William of Provence, 138, 191 
William of St. Benigne's, 111, 112, 

119, 162-165, 201 


Printed hy R. i*\: R. Clark, Limitfd, Edinburgh. 

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